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Claustrophobia and the MRI Machine

Updated on April 26, 2016
Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa has a B.A. from Montclair University in New Jersey and two occupational certificates from California colleges.

An MRI image of a human brain.
An MRI image of a human brain. | Source

MRI Procedures are a Big Problem for Claustrophobic People

For anyone who's anxious or claustrophobic, the idea of feeling trapped in the small, loud space of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine is daunting, to say the least. For some, the anxiety may even be a deterrent to having the procedure done and fears might seem to outweigh the benefits.

Don't let your fears control you. During the past 20 years, a severely claustrophobic friend of mine has undergone approximately 25 MRI procedures. He's had plenty of time and opportunity to develop a bag of tricks to help him cope, tips he shared with me and I share with you here. In this article, I will discuss those tools for how to manage your claustrophobia, tips that will be useful to anyone who has to undergo an MRI procedure, especially for the first time.

Tunnel vs Open MRI Machine

The following are pictures of a typical tunnel MRI machine and an open MRI machine.

Tunnel MRI Machine

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Image is in the public domain.A civilian technician watches as a patient goes through an MRI machine at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Image is in the public domain.
Image is in the public domain. | Source
A civilian technician watches as a patient goes through an MRI machine at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
A civilian technician watches as a patient goes through an MRI machine at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. | Source

Open MRI Machine

Source

What Happens During an MRI?

Rest assured that the MRI is a simple, painless diagnostic tool that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to “see” what's happening inside, without the use of x-rays. MRI procedures have been performed for decades now. The process is safe, painless, and has no known side effects.

Knowing what will happen ahead of time will also help you prepare yourself. Although no one can predict the future, most MRI scans follow the same protocol.

The MRI Procedure

Because the "m" in MRI stands for "magnetic" and the machine employs a strong magnetic field, no conducive or reactive materials should enter the machine so first, you'll be asked to remove all metal items from your person. The radiology technician will also inquire about metal in your body—this may include dentures, pacemakers, cochlear implants, permanent tattoos, shrapnel, etc. Some items may disqualify you from having an MRI, so discuss this with your doctor beforehand.

Next, you will be asked to lie down on the MRI table. You may be injected with a contrast dye to make the arteries in the examined part of your body appear more clearly. If you are getting the contrast dye, you will be asked to not eat or drink for a specified number of hours before the procedure. If you're getting a brain MRI, a "catcher's mask" will be placed over your face. This "mask" has built-in antennas to detect the signals coming from your brain and retransmit them to the machine to construct an image.

After these preparations, you will be rolled into the machine. This can be particularly alarming for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia. Upon request, some facilities will give patients a "panic button"—a switch you hold during the duration of the procedure with a button you can press if you panic and wish to be rolled out of the machine. Some tunnel MRI machines have a small mirror which allows you to see down the length of your body and out the opening of the machine. At some facilities, you can choose to wear the headphones provided to listen to music during the procedure.

Having answers to these questions—what preparations will be needed, will there be a panic button, a mask, a mirror, or headphones—will help you feel more in control.

Watch and Hear an MRI Scan

Loud MRI Machine Noises

Although newer machines make less noise, an MRI scan can be extremely noisy. Even if you're not anxious or claustrophobic, you'll likely be surprised by the loud clanging, bumping, and knocking noises that the machine makes when you're inside. If you are claustrophobic, you'll need to know about this noise ahead of time so you won't panic.

Coping Techniques

My friend suffers from acute claustrophobia. Here are some of the coping mechanisms he uses, things that may help anyone manage their anxiety:

  • Go to the MRI facility at least a week before the procedure and have the technician roll you into, and then back out of, the machine. Then you'll at least know what you're in for. (Be prepared to wait until the radiology technicians have a break between scheduled patients.)
  • Most MRI facilities will give you a sedative upon request, or even anesthesia which would make you completely unconscious during the procedure. You should schedule an MRI at least a few weeks in advance if you are going to receive a sedative or anesthesia, since the former requires the presence of a registered nurse and the latter an anesthesiologist. My friend has used the sedative once, with positive results. This may be offered in pill or intravenous form. My friend recommends having an intravenous sedative since the sedative begins acting immediately, whereas there is an unpredictable delay with pills which varies from person to person.
  • Have the technician agree to roll you out for, say, 30 seconds between images. This gives you an encouraging break from being in the machine. The technician will probably point out that it's important to not move any part of your body while you are out of the machine.
  • You might be able to bring a friend. My friend has his girlfriend hold his hand during the procedure when using an open MRI. (Anyone in the MRI room also cannot have metal objects on / in them.) Or, for a tunnel MRI, she lays her hand on his lower leg. This gives him reassuring contact with the "outside."
  • He also has her give a "countdown" by tapping his hand (or leg) with the number of minutes left in an image; e.g., three taps means three minutes left for the image and three minutes until he can be rolled out. (This will involve some coordination with the technician.)
  • Some people find it useful to “preview” the noises they will hear in the MRI machine. Kent Williams (aka "chaircrusher") of Iowa City, Iowa uploaded some MRI sounds on February 12, 2010 for you to "preview." These sounds can be downloaded to your computer and transferred to an MP3 player.
  • Some people shut their eyes for the entire procedure—this doesn’t work very well for my friend.
  • My friend went so far as to simulate the MRI experience at home by lying in a small space while listening to MRI noises. Whatever it takes to desensitize you to the actual MRI experience is worth it.

Have you ever had to undergo an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) procedure?

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Do you have claustrophobia?

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    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Daisy,

      I gotta tell you, this is an excellent first hub. Where are all the comments? Come on people :) Many years ago, my Mom had to have MRI's done and she was very claustrophobic. I went to her appointments with her and it was a big deal trying all kinds of things to calm her down. When the open MRI's became available, it was a huge relief. She still had problems with it, but not as bad.

      I seriously like and appreciate this article. May I suggest that you change the title. Some how I feel it is kind of "intimidating" because of MRI being spelled out. Claustrophobia and the MRI Machine or Are You Claustrophobic? I really feel that many people would find the info. and suggestions very useful.

      Sharyn

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Thanks so much for the suggestion, Sharyn. Changing the title sounds like a great idea.

      I'm glad that I don't have claustrophobia. Several years ago, I was in a tunnel machine for an MRI, and there was a major power failure that affected a few states on the West Coast. Everything stopped...no lights, no fan...it took a few people to manually wheel the table I was on out of the machine.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Morning Daisy,

      I hope you get some well deserved readers :)

      Wow, your experience must have been scary. I think the thing that would have scared me the most is "no fan." I would feel like I had no air.

      Have a wonderful day!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Sharyn,

      Thanks for stopping by again. With the major power failure, everything stopped...I was in a black tunnel which immediately became very warm.

      I had to drive about eight miles home after that, and I was shaking the entire way.

      **********

      If anyone reading this is scheduled for an MRI, please don't worry about there being a power failure. Massive multi-state power failures are a rare occurrence.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      I had one once, the hardest part was not moving and being laid in what i found an uncomfortable position.

      Excellent hub.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Oh my...I could NEVER have an MRI. I've been through many with my husband and bless his heart he was a champ. Our hospital allows one family member to stay in the room with the patient. I still couldn't do it. His MRIs were in the tunnel machine. I am too claustrophic. Voted UP!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Uninvited Writer,

      Thanks for commenting. I would worry about my allergies. What if I had to sneeze or cough?

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Sunshine,

      The second of my photos is of an open MRI machine. The sides are open, but the height of the opening when on the table is less in an open machine then in a tunnel.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, this is great advice, I remember having to go through this when I had my kidney op, just before. I didn't think I would be claustrophobic, and was surprised and scared to find that I was. in fact I panicked, and had to get out for a few moments. Eventually I decided to sing in my head, I went back in and mentally worked my way through the pop charts! by the time I came out, I was shaky but not too bad, great info, rated up and shared, nell

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

      I have done it once in the tunnel machine. It's not so bad if they put a cloth over your eyes and you keep your eyes closed the whole time before you go in and until you come out.

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

      I did the open one once too. Same thing, not so bad if you keep your eyes closed.

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Sharyn's Slant suggested you change the title but I think it is fitting to the content of the hub. Claustrophobia and the MRI Machine are excellent search words for this topic not to mention your hub score is 86 at the moment. I would leave it as it is for a while and see how it goes. Just my opinion. Great topic. Voted up and shared.

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 5 years ago from Maine

      Excellent hub! Having an MRI is explained very well in this hub. The hospital where I work give patients the option to listen to music during an MRI. They have a choice of classical, contemporary, country or jazz music.

      I have claustrophobia myself and when I had an MRI a few years ago, I was given a mild anti-anxiety medication and I chose to listened to classical music. It helped very much and I was able to get through the procedure very comfortably. Thank you and welcome to hubpages!

    • profile image

      marellen 5 years ago

      Hi Daisy.....I had one many years ago and needed a sedative to get me in the enclosed MRI. It was the only way I could do it. The picture you have of the open MRI is great. I could do that one no sweet. Thanks for this informative hub.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Nell,

      Singing in your head sounds like a great way to deal with the claustrophobia issue...as long as you don't begin dancing while in the machine!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      zzron,

      Thanks for your comments. The current title for the Hub is the changed title. When I first published the article, the title was Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Claustrophobia. "MRI" is much better in the title than the three words spelled out.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      creativelycc,

      Did listening to classical music while in the MRI machine help mask the terrible sounds the machine made?

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      So good to have a friend hold hands with the patient. Thanks for sharing. Hope some other readers have more good hints to share about dealing with claustrophobia (even outside the MRI procedure).

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      marellen,

      It's nice to meet you! I hope you don't have to undergo another MRI procedure, but if you do, perhaps the open machine can be used.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      MsDora,

      Thanks for stopping by and reading my article. Friends are important, aren't they?

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Ok great, I like the new current title, you should get a lot of views.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Thanks, zzron! After I changed the title, I have been getting the views.

      *****

      Thanks, Sharon! Your suggestion about changing the title was a tremendous help!!!

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 5 years ago from Maine

      Hi Daisy Mariposa, the classical music did help somewhat to drown out the clanking sounds in the MRI but not completely. Most of all it helped to relax me and served as a distraction.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      creativelycc,

      If the classical music distracted you, then I'd say it did its job!

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 5 years ago from Nottingham Uk

      Not had a scan but from the sounds of it I may get claustrophobic (ouch) that is not a nice thought. Anyway thanks for sharing this well written and informative hub.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Brian,

      MRI scans can help save lives. It is unfortunate, however, that some people have to suffer while having the scans done.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      I had to take an anti-anxiety medication in order to get my MRI - I still have nightmares about being inside it. My word of advice - close your eyes before you slide in and dont open them again until you're pulled out.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Ardie,

      Thanks for commenting. Closing your eyes is a big help when having an MRI scan.

      Read the second comment in this list of comments (my first reply), if you're up to it. I'm not claustrophobic, but I did experience a major problem while having an MRI several years ago.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      Though I have not undergone MRI, I have seen how this is performed. My cousin works in a hospital and he let me see how MRI is done. However, all the information were quite unknown to me. This is useful and informative article.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Thanks so much for commenting, Vinaya.

      Having an MRI is not a pleasant experience for many people, but it's a useful diagnostic tool.

      Is the hospital in which your cousin works located in Kathmandu?

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      daisy, i hope your wrist is all better. i don't have claustrophobia, but your explanation of how the MRI machine worked was very interesting.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Jason,

      Thanks for asking about my wrist. It's just about 90% of normal.

      I don't have claustrophobia, either, but if I need an MRI again, I'll be thinking about the time I was in a tunnel MRI machine when a power failure affected the entire West Coast of the U.S.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 5 years ago from France

      This is very very helpful. I wish I had read it before my MRI, I was terrified when I had mine done. It didn't help that I didn't get any briefing before the test. I think knowing about what noises to expect (like you suggest) and visiting the facilities before the test would've helped a lot. Not being tied to the bed would have been a great help as well!

      I managed to get through it counting in my head to keep track of the time. This helped having a goal as all I knew was that the test would last about 20 minutes.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Princessa,

      Thanks so much for reading my article and commenting.

      I'm glad so many people have found this article to be helpful. This was the first article I published on HubPges. When it came to choosing a subject for my Hub, helping claustrophobic people with their MRI experience immediately came to mind.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Awesome hub! Great information to know before getting an MRI!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I get claustrophobic, so I am very thankful for this information! Voted up and useful

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      I did get a couple of MRI's and the first one was horrendous. But, I passed with flying colors with my second one. Secret is hum a song in your mind or think of all the things that you like.

      Good pointers, Daisy!

      passing it along!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Kelley,

      Thanks for reading another of my Hubs. Hopefully, you won't need to have an MRI, but if you do, now you'll have an idea of what to expect.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Marcy,

      I'm glad the information in my article will be useful to you should you need to have an MRI procedure.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Ruchira,

      Thanks for reading another of my Hubs. Your ideas for keeping your mind active while undergoing the procedure are good ones.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Hi Daisy,great information about MRI and claustrophobic! I went through few times due to my lung condition. Still don`t like the procedure. Thank you for posting it. Useful and voted up!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      urmilashukla23,

      It's very nice to meet you. I'm glad you found the information in my article useful.

    • alisha4u profile image

      alisha4u 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I had a fair idea bout all this....Got to know more with this...Thanks !

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Alisha,

      It's very nice to meet you. I'm glad you learned something new by reading my article.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I had an MRI several years ago. It was scary. I think this would have helped me cope. Great idea for a Hub.I wote up and useful....And I am not even claustrophobic.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Rebecca,

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. I hope you won't ever have to have another MRI, but if you do, at least you'll be better prepared.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I'm so grateful not to have claustrophobia -- I keep thinking of MRI and other medical devices that would cause a panic if I did. Your friend has some great coping techniques. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Aurelio,

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. If even one person who has claustrophobia is helped by having read my Hub, I'll be so happy.

    • profile image

      leann2800 5 years ago

      I hate these things. normally, i am not claustrophobic but something about being between 2 powerful magnets makes me that way

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 5 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Bravo for your friend. What a brave man he is to keep having to go through this ordeal when he has severe claustrophobia.

      As many commenters have said, this is an excellent description of an MRI procedure you've given. I've only gone through for an MRI once and I don't plan on doing it again -- willingly.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      Very helpful. :)

      I haven't actually had an MRI scan, but I did have a test, which involved being in a similar situation ~ the claustrophobia set in and I panicked. I asked for my husband to be brought in, which helped no end.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      leann2800,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article.

      I'm not claustrophobic, either, but ever since I was in a tube MRI machine when a major power failure occurred on the West Coast of the US, I've been nervous when I've needed to have an MRI procedure.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Pamela,

      It's nice to meet you. Even when someone is claustrophobic, the necessity and importance of having an MRI procedure outweighs the person's fear of being in a confined space.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Tricia,

      It's nice to meet you. Having someone in the procedure room with you is a huge help, wouldn't you agree?

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      Patty Inglish shared this with her followers. I do not have claustrophobia, although I do not think I'd do well in a tunnel if I had to be on my stomach crawling. As Uninvited Writer said, the hardest part for me is not moving. When I'm not supposed to move, you better believe I start to twitch.

      I mention this because I have indeed had MRIs. A few times. There are some people in my family with epilepsy and when I had an illness at 12 I was tested for it. Not what I had. Over the past couple of years, when I have been so exhausted by the time I actually sleep (say, not slept for two days), I would literally pass out. So I have been tested for various things. All that has happened is that things have been eliminated. Maddening. not that I want an illness. But when you don't know what you have, you can't treat it. I may just be passing out because that's the only way to make me sleep once insomnia has taken over too long. My mind certainly does not shut off simply because I want this to happen.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Daisy, I had an MRI last June because of severe back pain. The machine at our local hospital is a tunnel one and when I went into it, I was really shocked at how close my face was to the top of it so I decided to shut my eyes. I knew I would be in there for about 25 minutes so I played a game in my head - using the alphabet to discover things - Fruit (A-Apple, B-Banana, C-Coconut etc etc), Vegetables, Pop Stars, Candy, etc etc. My little mind game worked though; I thought I would freak out after about ten minutes but I was fine!

    • profile image

      The Writers Dog 5 years ago

      Hi Daisy. Brilliant Hub! As a sufferer of Type 2 Neurofibromatosis, I am required to undergo MRI scans at least once a year. My local country town hospital does not have their own MRI, so one comes in the back of a truck twice a week (full tunnel). My claustrophobia is only mild, but I hate being stuffed in that tunnel! And, because the scans are on the tumours in my head, I am unable to have headphones to listen to music.

      Instead, I try to guess how many times the machine will make a particular sound. It helps a little :)

      Voted up!

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 5 years ago from Thailand

      Just came across this hub when it was shared by alocsin. I have undergone MRI scan only once, but that was enough experience to last a lifetime. I have never experienced claustrophobia before, but MRI machine is a different ball game altogether. I did not know what to expect when that table started moving in. Those were the most horrible moments of my life. Hope I never require another scan. I will remember these tips if I ever require them. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I've had quite a few MRIs, all of them in a "tunnel" machine. I'm claustrophobic to a moderate extent, and the noise associated with the test also bothers me. Here's what I do:

      1. I not only close my eyes, I ask the technician to place a small folded towel over my eyes. This helps me. I also ask for earplugs if the technician doesn't give them to me right away.

      2. I keep remembering that any movement will ruin the MRI and cause me to go through it from the beginning. That is definitely motivation to keep still.

      3. When the technician tells me how many minutes each segment will require, I count them off in my mind at 60 seconds per minute using the time-honored "One Mississippi, Two Mississippi,...." to be as accurate as possible. This helps pass the time for me and keeps me occupied, whereas just lying there would send me "round the bend."

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you so much for this. I have wicked claustrophobia and a tunnel MRI ranks right up there as one of my biggest fears. This hub has helped me relax a bit.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Flora,

      Thanks for reading and commenting in another of my articles. I'm so sorry you have had to undergo multiple MRI procedures.

      Let's hope the doctors find out what's wrong and you start getting a good night's sleep and feel better.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Julie,

      Thanks for reading my article. You're so right about how close one is when lying in the tunnel MRI machine.

      That's one thing my friend always complains about...the small amount of space there is between the tip of his nose and the inside top of the tunnel.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      The Writers Dog,

      It's nice to meet you. I'm so sorry to hear about your illness and your having to undergo annual MRI procedures.

      Since you can't listen to music during your MRIs, counting something or reciting something or making lists will take your mind off the procedure. I wish you well.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      hoteltravel,

      It's nice to meet you. I'm glad that Aurelio (alocsin) shared this article, and that you found my informtion useful.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      JayeWisdom,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your very helpful tips in the comments section. I'm sure some of my readers will be glad you took the time to include your experience with the MRI procedure.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Thundermama,

      It's nice to meet you. I'm glad the information in my article will me helpful to you should you need to undergo another MRI procedure.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi again,

      Yes, having someone with you, to hold your hand and tell you how it's going and how long is left is really really comforting.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Tricia,

      Thanks for stopping by again. The support of a friend or loved one is a huge help at MRI-time. Not all facilities will allow someone else in the room which houses the MRI machine, however.

    • profile image

      leann2800 5 years ago

      A power failure during your mri? omg! that's precisely the kind of stuff I imagine. how dreadful for you! I would have nightmares for quite awhile

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      leann2800,

      Thanks for visiting again. Yes, a power failure.

      I was in a tunnel MRI when the loud noises stopped and it became very warm (the fans stopped). There was a major power failure that affected the entire West Coast of the United States. It took a few people to pull the table on which I was lying out of the tunnel.

    • profile image

      leann2800 5 years ago

      I find it amazing that you actually did and MRI after this incident.You are as brave as you are talented.

    • meloncauli profile image

      meloncauli 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the tips in this hub. I went for my first MRI scan last week and I suffer from claustrophobia. I had never seen the MRI machine before and immediately on seeing how small it was my fear started. I hated everey second of it. I would have asked for some sedation fromy doctor if I had known how small the hole was. I hope I never need one again but this article has prompted me to think of some better coping strategies. I believe there are some vertical ones now although not in my locality.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      leann2800,

      Thanks for stopping by again. Thanks, too, for your very kind words.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      meloncauli,

      Welcome to HubPages! It's nice to meet you.

      I'm glad you found my article to be informative. My friend had sedation the last time he had an MRI. He said it took the "edge" off his fears.

    • profile image

      NJCathie 4 years ago

      About 8-9 years ago I needed several MRI's, I'm very claustrophobic, but I lucked into a radiology group who offered mirriored glasses that allowed you to see behind you and they set up their open MRI machine with the back facing a window....so when you went into the machine you would be wearing the glasses and looking out at the woods outside the window. Also you could listen to a music on a headset. The view of the woods took a lot of the edge off with the feeling of being outside with glasses on. It was a very patient friendly group.

      I've since moved and called several radiology groups and none offer these glasses, though a google search shows them available. It would be great if all groups would consider offering them.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      NJCathie,

      Thanks for telling everyone about your experience with the mirrored glasses. I'm sure many readers who are claustrophobic will want to investigate this further before they have to have an MRI procedure.

    • profile image

      NJCathie 4 years ago

      Has anyone seen the MRI machine you can sit in? I've only seen one around here and I actually stopped in to see it....not sure if it's covered by my insurance though. The next time I need one I will try to see if I can use it.

      Here is a link to one of them.

      http://www.two-views.com/MRI/advanced-open.html

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      NJCathie,

      Thanks for visitng again and posting the link to the MRI machine one can sit or stand in. I had heard about that machine, but it was my understanding that there are very few facilities in the United States that have the machine.

    • profile image

      NJCathie 4 years ago

      Actually, my Google search shows we have numerous ones here in New Jersey.

      I came across your wonderful site because I know I'm going to be asked soon to get an MRI and because I'm very claustrophobic I wanted to see how far technology has advanced for us.

      Another machine I just found in my search is one called the "Stand Up" MRI, which looks like technology is coming our way and when I did a Google search for "Stand Up" MRI's in New Jersey, I found many locations with them and this gives great hope for those of us who have to weigh the options of health vs fear. I even found dozens of YouTube videos showing how they work.

      Yea! I hope others find this info as welcome as I have. Thank you for creating this hub. :)

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      NJCathie,

      I'll have to tell my friend who has the claustrophobia problem that the stand-up MRI machines are becoming available in more locations. I appreciate the information. Thanks so much.

      I'm curious...where in New Jersey are the stand-up machines available? I used to live in New Jersey, so I might be familiar with the hospital.

    • profile image

      NJCathie 4 years ago

      Quick view I see one in Cherry Hill, Toms River and East Brunswick.....and that's just looking in my central Jersey area...North Jersey looks like they have several also.

      They are not hospitals, they are Radiology Groups. The one in Cherry Hill is called Upright MRI of Cherry Hill and East Brunswick is called East Brunswick Upright Open MRI and Toms River is called Ocean Upright MRI. Very exciting news. :))

      The internet is a very powerful tool, so if you Google your state and Upright or/and Stand Up MRI you will most likely find what's located in your immediate area.

      Good luck to your friend, I know how everyone feels. I myself can't do an MRI, no matter how I tried...this new technology will make a big difference on how I direct my healthcare.

    • profile image

      NJCathie 4 years ago

      Just to be clear Daisy, when I was in my early 40's I was able to barely tolerate the open MRI with the mirrored glasses, but as I got older my claustrophobia seems to increased with age. Maybe because they have become more critical now, I don't know....but I can say this new technology takes a lot of fear out of aging for me. :)

      I'm a little bit curious as to why I dont see them in the hospitals as you asked...one can't really tell the doctor who's treating you in an emergency to shuffle you over to a Radiology Group, now can they? This will take further investigating on my part, as I have options for hospital treatment and want to make sure I choose an up to date one.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      NJCathie,

      Thanks for the additional information about the stand-up MRI machines. I appreciate your taking the time to post it.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I am claustrophobic and really struggled having a MRI, I wish I'd read your article before I went!

      Not only is this useful advice, it helps to know you are not alone...

      Many thanks and voted up

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Lesley,

      Thanks for reading and commenting in another of my Hubs.

      MRIs are great diagnostic tools, but being claustrophobic and having to undergo an MRI procedure is extremely unpleasant. Let's hope you don't need another MRI.

    • mythicalstorm273 profile image

      mythicalstorm273 4 years ago

      I am also claustrophobic, but not that bad and it has developed only recently. It does continue to get worse every year though so I will def. keep what you wrote in mind for the future. It is very useful and highly detailed so it will help out a lot!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Crystal,

      It's good to "see" you again. Thanks for reading and commenting in another of my Hubs.

      I hope my information will be of some help should you need to undergo an MRI procedure in the future.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Having an MRI, especially if there is claustrophbia present is a terrible experience. The feeling is like being buried alive. With all the MRI's I have had, I've never been given anything to relax me. Very glad you wrote about this - some of us have no choice in the types of MRI's available. Voted up and awesome!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 4 years ago from Canada

      Daisy, this is very good information and I appreciate you writing it so much. My Mom had an MRI done when she had cancer and she hated it. She was very claustrophobic and the whole procedure made her feel very nauseous. I have never had one, so I did not realize what exactly what was involved. Now I know, and if anyone else I know has to go, I will try to go with them if they need it.

      Very informative hub. I appreciate it so much.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Audrey,

      Thanks for reading and commenting in another of my Hubs.

      My friend had a sedative during his last two MRI procedures. Being more relaxed helped him tremendously.

      The most recent MRIs were done at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. It was worth our driving 130 miles round-trip for the procedure.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Sharilee,

      I'm sorry your Mom had to undergo an MRI procedure while she was already so ill.

      It would be wonderful if you knew someone who needed to have an MRI in the future, and you were able to accompany them. It would mean alot to the patient.

    • Doc Sonic profile image

      Glen Nunes 4 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

      Daisy, this is a great hub about MRIs and what to expect. I've been inside the tunnel MRI several times (with the catcher's mask), and I've never once opened my eyes. I do get anxious, but I use visualization exercises to get through it. I can't imagine being in there with bad claustrophobia, it must be awful.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Glen,

      It's good to "see" you again. Thanks for reading and commenting in my Hub. This was the first article I published on HubPages, and it's one of my most-viewed. I'm glad that readers find the information helpful.

      It sounds like you have good coping techniques when you have an MRI. You're smart to not open your eyes when you're in the tunnel machine. There's very little space between the tip of your nose and the catcher's mask.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      This is a very good description of having an MRI. I also suffer from claustrophobia and would feel some concern about having to have an MRI in a tunnel machine. I think wearing the catcher's mask might be harder for me.

      Great article. Voted up, awesome, useful and interesting.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Maralexa,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my Hub and commenting in it.

      Since you have claustrophobia, should you need to have an MRI, see whether the facility would be willing to wheel you in and out of the machine prior to the date of the procedure in order to *desensitize* you.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Claustrophobic people do find it difficult in a closed tunnel MRI. You have given detailed information which will be very helpful to people who have to take an MRI. I wonder if an open MRI is more expensive than a closed MRI. Will find out. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Nithya (Vellur),

      Thanks for reading and commenting in another of my Hubs. I appreciate your continued support.

      In the United States, there doesn't seem to be a difference in the cost of the MRI procedure being done in an open vs. a tunnel machine. For some types of scans, the resolution is better in a tunnel machine.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      My sister had to be administered a sedative in order to have her MRI. She is very claustrophobic. I didn't mind the close space when I had to have one, but I can see how it would be difficult for people like her. I hope that all hospitals can eventually switch to the open MRI. It would make it so much more tolerable, especially having to deal with the reason you are having one in the first place.

      This is a great hub for those who need some preparation for the process. Voted up and across!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Dianna,

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. It seems that many people who are claustrophobic have read this Hub and have found it useful. That's a great feeling.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

      What an awesome read of sharing. Expelling the fears with this dilemma and the solutions science has blessed us with is amazing. My first MRI they asked a question that took me on a little adventure of the mind, "do you have any metal in your body?" The answer, "why Yes!" Then, what was asked. "My fillings are metal" The answer, "not a problem. anything else

      ?" My reply, 'I had metal in the eye from being a machinist. And there is rust there I understand." The reply, "OK, we will x-ray those orbitals." Oh my, oh my and later the noise - so loud it was, while wondering if I would have that eye when they were done. All ended well since I never received a phone call - a little anxiety, but I'm here today to share this little ditty, hoping to bring more to the message offering a sense of calm to the inquiring mind.

      tim

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      tsmog,

      Thank you for reading my article and commenting in it.

    • Capoeira Moves profile image

      Capoeira Moves 4 years ago

      Well this is a nice article for all those who have a problem with this. Immensely helpful. Claustrophobia was so bad less than a minute in the tunnel machine, anxiety would follow. Thank you again.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Capoeira Moves,

      It's nice to meet you. Welcome to HubPages. I'm glad you found my article helpful. I've received many positive comments about it.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      Daisy- This is a really helpful hub for anyone who has been asked to undergo this test. Not only do you demystify the procedure, your handy hints and useful tips would really help those who may be frightened of the whole procedure. What a great first hub. Bravo!all the accolades are well deserved.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Mohan (Docmo),

      Thanks, once again, for your continued support. From the comments I've received, it appears as though this Hub has helped some people.

      I'm so glad I'm not claustrophobic. I was in a tunnel MRI machine several years ago, and there was a power failure that affected must of the West Coast of the United States.

      I know you've read my Hub about the Cycladic islands. Do you rembember my anecdote about the water taxi and the lock breaking on the toilet door? The person who was trapped in that tiny room on the water taxi is the person that I've described in this article.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      To all my readers,

      When I wrote this, my first article for HubPages, I didn't know what the reaction to a medical-related article would be, since I'm not a member of the medical profession.

      From the comments posted here, it appears that the information I've provided has helped some people. For that, I feel truly blessed.

      I received an e-mail message via HubPages early this morning, thanking me for writing the article. The person who sent me the message will be undergoing an MRI procedure next week. Tim, I'll be thinking of you.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

      TY. My brother lives off of La Paz. I used to live off of El Torro and then in Laguna hills. Nice area. Again, thank you . . . I've got to eat and get back to work, :)

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Thanks for visitng again, Tim. I hope all goes well with your MRI next week.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Great hub, Daisy. I'm hoping I will never have to experience an MRI. *Fingers crossed* If I do, I will definitely be using some of your helpful information. VUM.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I had to undergo the MRI for checkups every year. Just as you said....fortunately, I have no claustrophobia! Voted up!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 4 years ago from Northern, California

      Daisy, this is a Great hub and a big issue for me! I always had to wait the extra scheduling time for the open MRI machines. Even then a fan blowing on me always seemed to help, my favorite music piped in, and of course a little yellow pill to take the edge off. If I am in the same room with that tube, I get very fidgety. I am betting that several people will benefit from this hub. Thanks for writing it.

      HubHugs~

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I've had several MRI s done. I do like a self hypnosis (like I do at the dentists), put on a sleep mask, and stick my little head phone in my ear to drown out the noise.

      I voted this UP, etc.etc.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Terrye (TToombs08),

      Thanks for reading and commenting in another of my Hubs. If you don't have claustrophobia, you probably won't have any problems should you need to undergo an MRI procedure.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Michelle,

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting.

      I don't have claustrophobia, either, but I did have one bad experience while undergoing an MRI procedure. While in a tunnel MRI machine, there was a power failure on the west coast of the United States.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      India (K9keystrokes),

      Thanks for reading and commenting in another of my Hubs. I appreciate your continued support.

      The last two times my friend had to have an MRI, he was given a sedative. This helped quite a bit.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Mary,

      Thanks for reading my Hub and commenting. Thanks, too, for sharing some coping techniques which have worked for you.

    • EuroCafeAuLait profile image

      Anastasia Kingsley 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Dear All

      I am in the claustrophobic camp as well. My first attempt at an MRI was not happening. The small space with my eyes closed I might have been able to handle (except for the panting-heavy breathing) until I heard the jackhammer in my ear. Ay-yi-yi!!! Get me outta here, and quick! Those two or three cups of coffee didn't help either. I have another one scheduled soon - gotta beat this thing - but you can imagine I am thinking about it everyday at least 100 times... LOL. I will try many of the suggestions mentioned here. Best regards- ECAL

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      EuroCafeAuLait,

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting, I appreciate it. Good luck with your next attempt at having an MRI.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Very thoughtful of you to do a hub like this.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Art (rasta1),

      Thanks for your very kind words. From what I've read in the comments, my article has helped a number of people.

    • EuroCafeAuLait profile image

      Anastasia Kingsley 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Still haven't succeeded. My husband agreed to come with me for support, bless his heart - but - much to my own surprise, I forgot to bring my doctor's analysis. Probably I subconsciously was chickening out on another level. Not giving up, will try again. Scary stuff. But I have already decided to "do it". In Croatia not a lot of other options - no mirrors, music or opens (as far as I know of). The best ideas seem - (to me) to try relaxing (without a sedative, if possible), counting the seconds for each procedure and/or playing games in my head - and maybe having a friend nearby. Will post again after the fact! Best regards to you Daisy and all MRI alumnus, lol, ECAL

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      EuroCafeAuLait,

      Thanks for visiting again.Would it be possible for your husband or a friend to be in the MRI room with you? Having someone tap out the remaining minutes on your wrist or ankle would be a huge help to you.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

      A very interesting hub. Hopefully I will be able to avoid a MRI machine for a few more years. Years ago I was required to wear a mascot uniform for work....you know the ones you see at baseball games or at the mall during easter and such....at first I could not stand being in the uniform very long....especially since the head was not very big...but with time I learned to have fun and exactly enjoyed doing it....so I am sure if and when the time comes for me and MRI machines...I will get used to it as well...voted up and very useful.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Bruce,

      Thanks for reading my Hub and commenting in it. Since you wore the mascot uniform mask and quickly got used to the smallness of it, you probably would become used to the tunnel of an MRI machine in a short amount of time..

    • TheAtHomeMom profile image

      TheAtHomeMom 4 years ago

      I used to work at an imaging facitlity and I actually went and laid in the machine with it turned off just to see what the experience is like for patients. I have never known myself to be claustrophobic, but the machine was intimidating once the table was moved into place(and this was an Open MRI). I think something else that is useful for people to know is that the technician will place something that resembles a brace over the portion of your body that is being imaged. This device does not actually touch you but rather sits over the area. For instance if you are having your knee images, the device sits over your knee. It attract the magnetic imaging to that part of your body. This isn't a problem for most people, however, if you are having an MRI of your head done this device literally sits over your face, inches from your nose. This can make even the most un-claustrophic person a bit antsy in an open MR machine. Something you can also ask for is a set of earplugs or headphones (most places will let you listen to music in the machine via headphones hat are designed to be safe with the MRI machine). Very informative article and very helpful for people who are preparing for this test.

    • Jane@CM profile image

      Jane@CM 4 years ago

      Great article! I always need "something" before I go into that machine!!!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      TheAtHomeMom,

      It's nice to meet you. Welcome to HubPages. Thanks for providing your very helpful information in your comments.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Jane@CM,

      Thanks for commenting. It sounds as though you might be claustrophobic. May I ask if a sedative is administered before you have an MRI?

    • Lovelovemeloveme profile image

      Lovelovemeloveme 4 years ago from Cindee's Land

      thanks! great hub

      Some people actually got turned on when put in an mri machine. I read it in an article. Weird hey?

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Lovelovemeloveme,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my Hub and commenting in it.

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 4 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Great tips! MRI can be very invasive for someone with Claustrophobia. However, even those without such type of fear might still feel scared and be intimidated with the type of machine used in the said procedure. To alleviate this problem, so that all my patients will have favorable experience each time, I let them be accompanied by a loved one inside the MRI room - provided that they too should remove all metals in their bodies.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Tina (thesingernurse),

      Thanks for reading my article and adding your comments. I appreciate having a registered nurse adding her incite.

    • roxygurl464 profile image

      roxygurl464 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you so much for writing this great hub! I have to have an MRI done next week to find out how badly my back was injured in a car accident that happened a month ago. I have been so nervous even though I don't usually have claustrophobia. I'm going to try some of these suggestions to get through it. I'm sure it won't be half as bad as I imagine it. Thanks again for the advise!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      roxygurl464,

      Welcome to HubPages. It's nice to meet you.

      I was so sorry to hear that you were injured in an auto accident. MRIs are great diagnostic tools. The scans will be a help to your doctors.

      I see that you're from New Jersey. I was born in New Jersey and lived there through my college days. May I ask in what part of the Garden State do you live?

    • knowl profile image

      knowl 4 years ago from Tandil

      Very useful hub, I want to share my experience too. I suffer from slight claustrophopbia (meaning I only feel panic in rally small spaces, anything the size of the MRI machine tube or smaller) and I had to undergo an MRI a few weeks ago.

      It was hard, but luckily I was able to do it without a sedative (I didn't know you could ask for one so I would've had to do it without sedative anyway).

      I took earplugs with me because I had read before that the noises are really loud. Thankfully I did it, I wouldn't have been able to endure it without the earplugs.

      Also, the air conditioner was on and there was a slight breeze coming through the tube that gave me fresh air and helped me avoid the feeling of being trapped.

      To avoid thinking of the little space I had to move, I was also playing songs in my head from start to finish and focusing on the lyrics, every song was 3-4 minutes so after 10-15 full songs the procedure was almost over, that helped me pass the time faster.

      I was a little nervous and I was deep-breathing, which difficulted the MRI, but luckily I didn't had to repeat it.

      Next time, I'll ask for a sedative and that's it, no more problems :)

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      knowl,

      Welsome to HubPages. it's nice to meet you. Thanks for sharing your MRI experience with us. If you have to undergo the procedure again, at least you'll know what to expect...and to request a sedative.

    • profile image

      Bea 4 years ago

      I just had an MRI yesterday. It was my first experience in an open MRI machine. I still had some issues with claustrophobia, but closing my eyes and almost meditating helped me more than I thought it would. The technicians played music during my scan and I was able to focus on that and breath...it helped.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Bea,

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting. I appreciate your sharing your MRI experience with us.

    • profile image

      Clare 4 years ago

      Great Hub & good to read all the info & others replies. I'm having an MRI of my cervical spine (neck area) done in about 5 hours & I am really anxious. I had a scan done before & it had me so upset & tomorrow I'm wondering if I will have to wear the "catchers mask"? If I do I'm not sure if I will be able to stand having the scan done.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Clare,

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. I hope all goes well with your MRI. The procedure isn't fun for some people, but it is a great dignostic tool.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi daisy, this brings back memories of my mum, she was terrified of the MRI, claustrophobia, fear and just about everything else, this is so helpful, I just wish my mum could have read this first, voted up, tweeted, nell

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Nell,

      Thanks for reading and commenting in another of my Hubs. Little did I imagine when I published this Hub...my first Hub...how many people I would have helped by what I wrote.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      I remember when I had to get an MRI done for my back issues. I was fine for the first few minutes, but then I couldn't breath and I felt trapped! Great suggestions and tips, Daisy! Might need them in the future :)

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Keith (KDuBarry03),

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting. I appreciate your continued support of my work,

      MRIs aren't a fun experience, even for people who don't have claustrophobia. I was having an MRI in a tunnel machine when a massive power failure affecting the west coast of the United States occurred. Can you imagine the power going off while you were in the tunnel, and the medical staff having to manually get you out?!?

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent hub information here, Daisy. I have to say that my late husband was also claustrophobic and no matter how encouraging I was to have the MRI done with a sedative and me standing next to him, he could not do it.

      I think I actually had one done, myself, because I recall the small enclosure and the loud noise. I actually managed to get through it b/c I meditate and just kept myself in that state of meditation throughout the procedure.

      Rated up and I/U

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Denise,

      Thanks for reading and commenting in my article. I'm so glad the information I provided in my Hub and the information my readers have provided in their comments have helped a number of people.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Daisy,

      This is a helpful, detailed and thoughtful piece. I have had an MRI. I have assisted patients with anxieties related to the procedure. Now, finally, since 1999, I am disqualified from further MRIs due to after effects of an injury.

      I am so glad you included that in this day where we can have so

      many different specialists and medical records are far from uniformly merged, we need to be vigilant. I have had two MDs blithely write me scripts for MRIs until I remind them I would be putting myself in grave

      jeopardy/ the reason. We must always be our own advocate.

      Congratulations on your well-deserved 100...!

      Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Maria (marcoujour),

      Thanks for reading and commenting in my Hub. It's always an honor when a member of the medical profession finds worth in my article.

      It's really necessary to be one's own advocate and be aware of the effects a medical procedure can have, especially in a case such as yours.

    • scrittobene profile image

      Maria D'Alessandro 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Excellent and useful information here Daisy. I am claustrophobic and I dread ever having to have an MRI. My daughter has had several MRIs and she is not normally claustrophobic but was so with this procedure. She had to stay up to 45 minutes doing a full body scan once. What helped her was oral and intravenous sedation. They can't give too much because a person may stop breathing during the procedure from the anasthesia so they just give you enough so that you are dozy but still awake and able to follow instruction. Thank you for writing this. Voted useful. Cheers, Maria D'Alessandro

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Maria (scrittobene),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading and commenting in my article.

      I appreciate your sharing the experiences your daughter had with her MRI procedures. From what several readers have mentioned in their comments, my Hub has been very helpful. That's always nice to "hear."

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image

      FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

      I had a closed MRI when I was eleven and fractured my skull. I cried and screamed my head off the whole time since I am claustrophobic. I just remember them telling me to try to sleep and not move. I loathed that time spent in there. I can't have another one since I have metal in my skull.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Freezeframe34,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and commenting.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      I had an MRI done with my back issues and it was a horrid experience. I still wish I read your hub before it all happened! Thanks for sharing :) Voted up and all!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Keith (KDuBarry03),

      Thanks for visiting again. MRIs are not a fun experience for most people. The procedure is a great diagnostic tool, so I hope that people who are scheduled for an MRI don't change their mind at the last minute.

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      I must say that in all my years I have only had to have one MRI done. I never considered myself clastrophobic (sp?) and thought for sure I'd have no issues with it....Welp, I was wrong. Shortly after entering the 'tunnel I started to experience anxiety, even the headphones I was allowed to wear were not drownding out the crazy thoughts of being 'stuck in this casket like structure. It was not a fun experince at all. I'm sure this hub has helped many.

      ~Becky

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Becky (Rfordin),

      Thanks for reading my article...my first Hub...and sharing your MRI experience with us.

      The procedure isn't a pleasant one for many people. From what my readers have mentioned in their comments, both my article and comments from other readers has helped them.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Wow--I didn't know that they had open MRI machines--but I would imagine they are so much better. Doesn't everyone have trouble when they have to spend a long time in an MRI machine? Great info

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Audrey,

      Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. The open MRI machines are open on the sides, but the amount of space from the tip of one's nose to the top of the compartment you're in is less. I don't think the open machines help the claustrophobia problem.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Daisy, I must say that the first few times of going through the procedure I

      was a little claustrophobic. But I grew used to the noise over the years (I experience this once a year) and have become accustomed to it, I guess. Thanks for sharing....it will make the process easier to get used to.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Michelle (midget38),

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting. The hospital at which my friend has the procedure done has earplugs available for everyone entering the room in which the MRI machine is housed. Using earplugs helps lessen the noise quite a bit.

    • Irish Shrew profile image

      Ro 4 years ago from Midwest

      Thank you for your informative article. I have to be honest, I was sweating as I read it. I have intense claustrophobia. I have never worn a watch in my life due to the tightness of the band. When having a root canal the poor Endodontist has to cut a huge hole in the rubber dam covering my mouth. I haven't used an elevator in 20 years. I think I would vote for the sedative!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Ro (Irish Shrew),

      Welcome to HubPages! It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I'm so sorry you have such bad claustrophobia.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      I have a friend who has regular MRIs and is able to take his own CD along because they provide headphones. He told me that if ever I have an MRI it is important to lie on the couch and listen to the entire CD before the appointment. One CD he took along caused problems because he was having a brain scan and found it almost impossible not to sing along to the words of the songs. The next appointment he took along Dark Side of the Moon and discovered that one of the early tracks on the album has a very quiet beginning and did little to block the noise of the machine.

      He is claustrophobic and insists keeping his eyes closed is essential for survival.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Long Time Mother,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment.

      I see that you live in Australia. Does your friend live there, too? Your anecdote about your friend might be specific to where he lives and the medical facility to which he goes. I've never seen couches in any of the MRI facilities to which I've gone in Southern California. Most of the facilities can pipe music into the tunnel MRI machines, but they don't have CD players for the patients to use with their own music.

    • Stina Caxe profile image

      Cristina 4 years ago from Virginia

      Great hub! I remember being a kid and being terrified having this done. I actually screamed and tried to get away. As an adult with cancer I have had this done often and it still gives me a very uncomfortable feeling. You coping technique ideas are wonderful, especially for someone who is about to go through this for the first time.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Cristina (Stina Caxe),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and sharing your experiences with having had to undergo the MRI procedure.

      MRIs are not a fun experience for many people, but they are a great diagnostic tool. I hope some of the coping techniques I've mentioned will help you with future MRIs.

    • SaritaJBonita profile image

      Sarah Jane Bourdeau 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Oh man, reading this Hub just sent chills down my spine. I've had several MRIs done and they were all pretty awful. I usually ask for anti-anxiety medication to take the morning of the test, but with my most recent MRI I tried to "suck it up." I ended up getting so anxious that I had uncontrollable muscle spasms, and they had to restart the test halfway through.

      The "open" MRIs I've had look nothing like the one in your picture above. They call it an "open MRI" because the space behind your head is open. I don't think that counts, lol.

      Unfortunately I have a neck condition that means I will most likely have to undergo this test again... and again. Thanks for your information though, voted up and useful.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Sarah (SaritaJBonita),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment.

      Open MRI machine are not as "tube like" as tunnel machines. The space on each side is open.

    • Amaryllis profile image

      Lesley Charalambides 4 years ago from New Hampshire

      Wow, this is a great hub, and so many interesting comments.

      I'd have said I'm not claustrophobic at all, but I am fat. I had problems fitting into the MRI machine as apparently it had a weight limit, and when inside I really freaked out. In the end my husband held my hand, and it was OK, but I wouldn't be happy to do it again.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Lesley (Amaryllis),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it.

      Having someone hold your hand while you're undergoing an MRI procedure is a help. It really makes a difference.

    • profile image

      Julie Haux 4 years ago

      I had an MRI nearly 2 years ago. Because I have slight claustrophobia, I requested a 'light' sedative. It cost me $25 for the 'service' of a nurse to bring me the one Valium tablet and a small cup of water. And it wasn't given early enough to do any good. So, the next time I needed a sedative, I had one prescribed to me by my doctor for a cost of about $3. The pharmacist suggested that I take the tablet 20 minutes before my table time and to put it under my tongue rather than take it with water. Sublingual absorption is much more effective because it works more quickly.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Julie (Juliehaux),

      Welcome to HubPages. It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it.

      My friend who has severe claustrophobia requested that he be given an intravenous sedative prior to his MRI procedure since intravenous sedation works very quickly.

    • Glass-Jewelry profile image

      Marco Piazzalunga 4 years ago from Presezzo, Italy

      Phobias are very mysterious disease that no one has yet been able to explain. Take for example the phobia of needles, I think the medical term to say "belonephobia." Well then, my wife is suffering from this phobia, just as people who suffer from vertigo or claustrophobia or agoraphobia, or cinofobia. But unfortunately until now nobody has been able to help me to solve this problem of my wife, problem quite heavy, especially when he has to go for a blood test.

    • Sana Ratio profile image

      Sana R 4 years ago from Reading, England

      Detailed article with full of information. I was wondering about this machine by thinking, how it works and who will get scanned by this machine but after read your article and some information from other sourcing I get lots of information about this machine . Thank you for the great article in the Hubpages.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Marco (Glass-Jewelry),

      It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I hope you are able to solve the problem of your wife's phobia. Perhaps with so much information available online, there will be something helpful.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Sana,

      Welcome to HubPages. It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I'm glad you found the information in my Hub to be helpful.

    • RandomThoughts... profile image

      RandomThoughts... 4 years ago from Washington

      I have had this procedure done and the panic is almost unbearable when you start having it while in the machine. I have had to learn deep breathing techniques and never open your eyes. I love the idea of a partner being in there to help with the support. I didn't know you could do that...thanks for the info!!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Susan (RandomThoughts),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment.

      If you ever have to undergo another MRI procedure, ask the facility if you can have someone in the room with. It's a tremendous help.

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 4 years ago

      Excellent Hub! I felt the panic just reading about the procedure. I have had a number of them and the staying in one position becomes pure agony and then I panic, get nauseated, and get shortness of breath and really want to cry.

      Deep breathing exercise helped me get through the last one but just barely since I was already stressed going in.

      I have a relax technique on my mp3 player which sounds like the ocean waves breaking with subliminal messages telling you to relax I will use before I go in next time. It has helped me in a number of other stressful situations I am sure it could help here. Wish I could take it onto the table.

      Voted Up and shared.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Silvia (Justsilvie),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment.

      Your relaxation technique prior to the procedure sounds like a good idea.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Hi Daisy,

      really great hub here about claustrophobia

      I feel that I am quite claustrophobic and I wish

      that I could get over it.

      thanks for sharing this story.

      Voted up and Shared.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      The time you spend in an MRI machine seems like it is much longer than it is. They tell you to stay really still and you just feel like running out of there. I was in a really old machine and that constant knocking sound was crazy loud. I just can't imagine having to go into that machine all the time. An open machine would be so much better.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Marie (truthfornow),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. The loud noises one hears in an MRI machine don't have anything to do with the age of the machine. The noise is loud in all such machines. That's why the facilities offer earplugs to the patients and why some pipe music into the machines.

      With an open MRI machine, if a person is on their back, the distance from the tip of their nose to the top of the scanning area is much less than the equivalent distance in a tunnel machine.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Torri Lynn,

      It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub. I appreciate your support of my writing.

    • profile image

      amandaines 4 years ago

      It's reassuring for me to know how many other people also suffer from claustrophobia. I have it really badly, being in a plane or even the back seat of a two door sports car can get me going into an anxiety attack. So to reassure others, I must say that I was able to cope reasonably well in an open MRI. Always ask your doctor beforehand and he can tell you where they have an open MRI near to you.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Amanda (amandaines),

      It's very nice to meet you. Thank you for reading my article and adding your comment.

      It seems that open MRI machines are the solution for a number of people. It depends, however, on the type of scan required. The resolution might not be sharp enough in an open machine for certain scans.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Alexander (alexabda),

      Welcome to HubPages. It's nice to meet you. Thank you for reading my article and posting your comment.

      My claustrophobic friend who I discussed in my Hub saw your comment. He said that what you described in the first paragraph of your comment is "exactly right."

    • khmohsin profile image

      khmohsin 4 years ago from London,UK

      You did the great work Daisy, very informative hub. Thanks for sharing your knowledge :)

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      khmohsin,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I'm glad you found the information to be informative.

    • profile image

      jjjohnson3 4 years ago

      I went in for a brain scan MRI. I was very nervous and did not feel comfortable going into the closed MRI unit. The MRI staff offered me a pair of prism glasses to wear. These type of glasses allow you to see outside the MRI unit. The glasses were absolutely wonderful and they got me through the MRI with no further anxiety. Please ask the MRI staff about these type of glasses. If they don't have them, I saw that they were available online from Amazon.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      jjjohnson3,

      Welcome to HubPages. It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment about the prism glasses. I appreciate it.

    • billd01603 profile image

      billd01603 3 years ago from Worcester

      informative Hub-Thanks Daisy

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      Great hub I can understand why it ranks high. It's got my vote and share.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This is useful information to those who are about to undertake this procedure. We just went through this last week with my Mom who has had three back surgeries and three hip replacement surgeries. The noise of the process is overwhelming, even from outside the room. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for someone who suffers from claustrophobia. Great explanation here.

    • EuroCafeAuLait profile image

      Anastasia Kingsley 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Dear Daisy,

      Feel like I know you after visiting this hub so many times, reading the comments and contributing!!

      I finally did the deed - successfully - and lived to tell the tale. OK, I got lucky with an OPEN MRI - I could see my friend standing in the corner with the thumbs up look.

      Actually I have to admit, it wasn't that bad. I wore ear plugs and even dozed off a little. The sounds you let us preview on your Hub were strangely familiar and made me smile a little. I did feel a little panic reflex but knowing that there are so many out there just like me I had the courage to know I could get through it as well.

      Great Hub!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Excellent hub. I've had numerous MRIs and can attest to the fact they're not pleasant for the claustrophobic person. My claustrophobia is in the moderate range, but I had to develop my own ways of handling the procedure in a closed machine (the only choice I've ever been given).

      1. I ask the technician for a small folded cloth to be placed over my closed eyes. For some reason, NOT seeing is comforting to me even though I can feel how close the sides are as the table I'm lying on is going into the machine. I keep the cloth over my eyes the entire time.

      2. When the technician tells me how many minutes each aspect of the procedure will take, as soon as the noise begins, I start counting, "One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, etc." and count off the minutes. Keeps me busy and prevents me from panicking. It's always a "plus" when that part of the procedure ends before I reach the end of the counting.

      3. Knowing that I can tell the technician I'm experiencing panic helps me stay in control. (During some of my first MRIs, this wasn't an option. I was simply told that if I moved AT ALL, the procedure would have to begin all over again.)

      These tips may seem minor, but they've helped me endure the enclosed space of an MRI machine without having a severe panic attack. I empathize with your friend.

      Voted Up++

      Jaye

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Bill (billd01603),

      It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. I appreciate it.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      moonlake,

      Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub. I'm glad my article has apparently helped so many readers.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Peg (PegCole17),

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. I'm so sorry your mother has had to undergo the back surgeries and the hip replacement surgeries.

      I wasn't particluarly listening for it, but I don't remember hearing any noice coming from the room in which the MRI machine is located when I was outside the room and someone was undergoing the procedure

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      EuroCafeAuLait,

      Thanks for visiting again. I appreciate your sharing your MRI experience with us. I'm glad you were able to have your friend in the MRI room with you. Having someone accompany you to the procedure and be in the room is a big help.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Jaye (JayeWisdom),

      It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and adding your very helpful comment. I appreciate it. My readers' anecdotes have added so much to my article.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      So glad I found this hub; I go for an MRI scan next week and am quite claustrophobic. I found this so useful. Thank you

    • Jmillis2006 profile image

      Jmillis2006 3 years ago from North Carolina

      I was very happy I found this hub. I needed an MRI before and was given intravenous medication , but it did not help my fear I could not complete the scan and the doctors had to relay on the less accurate cat scan results.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Sue,

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. I'm glad you found the information to be helpful. Good luck with your upcoming MRI!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Jmillis2006,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. I'm so sorry you had such problems when having your MRI. I hope your doctors were able to get enough information from the CT scan.

    • celeste inscribed profile image

      Celeste Wilson 3 years ago

      I had to have an MRI last week, my first ever. I am not claustrophobic but I can completely understand how someone with claustrophobia would traumatized. I was given headphones and the choice of music to listen to. The machine was loud so I only heard bits of the songs. They were songs I knew so I sang to myself between hearing them and not hearing them. It helped to pass the time. It was over in no time. Maybe the radiologist hurried it up because I have a horrible singing voice. :0)

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Celeste (celeste inscribed),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment.

      Whenever I've had an MRI it's been in a tunnel machine. What I've done is keep my eyes closed and try to daydream about something pleasant. The only time I've experienced any difficulty was when there was a massive power failure on the entire west coast of the United States while I was undergoing an MRI, and I had to be pulled out of the machine by the medical staff.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I have had two MRI's recently and am claustrophobic. I really wish I'd read this article before I had them because it would have helped. I ended up having sedation for both and if ever I need another I will ask for sedation up front. Thanks for a very useful article, voted up.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Marie (MPG Narratives),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. If you need to have another MRI, you might want to read the comments posted by the people who have read my article. My readers have contributed greatly to the success of my Hub.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      There are certainly many with claustrophobia and many of those need to have MRIs. This is a very helpful and useful hub for all, it will also help those who don't have claustrophobia understand a little better.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Mary (tillsontitan),

      Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. I appreciate your continued support of my writing.

      When I published this Hub, I had not no idea what to expect. My readers comments and helpful suggestions are more valuable than any information I might have provided.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 3 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      I absolutely cannot tolerate having an MRI. I suffer from extreme claustrophobia. My doctor, therefore, prescribes open MRI for me.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Nancy (alekhouse),

      Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. My friend to whom I referred in my article is extremely claustrophobic. He prefers the tunnel MRI machine to the open version. The reason for this is because when a person in on their back in the open MRI machine, the distance from the tip of the person's nose to the top of the enclosure is much smaller in the open machine than in the tunnel version.

    • Lisa Luv profile image

      Lisa J Warner 3 years ago from Conneticut, USA

      I get claustrophobic in that MRI machine. I feel trapped and think the world is going to end while in there and I won't be able to get out!

      I have to have the attendant talk to me during the MRI to keep me calm and not feel trapped and all alone in there. Great writing! Good subject! Voting up and sharing...

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Lisa,

      Thanks for reading my article and sharing your MRI experience. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub.

      If I didn't go into the MRI room with my extremely claustrophobic friend and have my hand on his lower leg during the scans, he wouldn't be able to undergo the procedure. Knowing that someone is in the room with him helps tremendously.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is great advice for people who have to undergo MRI's and who can't have their images taken in an open MRI. I held my mother-in-law's hand when she had it done years ago. The noise is truly something! Up and useful votes and pinning to my Useful Tips and Ideas board.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Peggy,

      Thanks for reading my article and sharing your experience when your mother-in-law underwent the MRI procedure. Thanks, too, for pinning my Hub.

      When someone who has claustrophobia has to have an MRI, having someone in the room with the person seems to help quite a bit.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Good hub. Having MS, I have periodic MRIs to check on the status of my disease. I find that these things help: wearing earplugs, taking my shoes off, covering my body in a light sheet, having a washcloth put over my eyes, and practicing relaxation breathing. These things work so well that I nearly go to sleep in the machine each time now.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      FlourishAnyway,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and sharing your MRI coping techniques with us.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Though I commented a few months ago I am commenting again since my husband had to undergo several MRIs and MRAs, and just found out he is claustrophobic. No open machines here so he was sedated a tad before his tests.

      Good information for those who have never had one.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Mary (tillsontitan),

      Thanks for visiting again. My claustrophobic friend has had a small amount of sedation the last two times he needed to have an MRI. The sedation helped tremendously.

    • profile image

      Wynn Lare 3 years ago

      thanks for such a helful article. I wanted to send something to a man's man who has never had a MRI despite a back injury in 1991. The technology wasn't there back then, but I suspect he has been avoiding getting one done. This article should help him make an informed choice. The idea that we don't have "simulator" of an MRI is surprising. There should be an APP for that, as well as other common procedures. I'll send an email to Dr. OZ about that. In the meantime, keep up the good work. Obviously a very successful post, when you are still getting comments 2 years later. THAT IS UNHEARD OF

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
      Author

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Wynn Lare,

      Thank you for reading my article and posting your comment.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      These are great coping techniques for getting an MRI. Last month I had one for some shoulder issues and they took 20 images. It seemed to take forever but the headset they provided and my choice of music (70s rock) helped to pass the time. They also gave me a panic button and the tech came on the intercom during the procedure to ask how I was doing. The worst part was lying in that position for so long.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I wish this hub had been available to me before my MRI's. I've had several and just don't do well at all. Being claustrophobic doesn't help. I didn't know I could have ask for something to relax me. I felt like I was stuffed in a coffin.

      These suggestions are so helpful. I'm sure more people will be better prepared for an MRI now.

      Voted across except for funny, up and sharing.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      I feel so sorry for your friend. I was suffering from migraines with paralysis last year, and had to go through my first round of MRIs. The problem for me was the noise. My head was splitting even though I was on morphene. Luckily I'm not claustrophobic though. They were kind enough to give me really strong headphones to go over my ears, but my headache worsened anyway.

      When I was in my hospital room, a nurse's assistant came in to prep me for the MRI machine and put me in a gown with metal snaps. I asked her if they would be ok for the MRI machine and she said yes. But they weren't. I had to change when I got to the MRI room.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Very interesting. I don't have claustrophobia and I have not had to have an MRI but it's always useful to know this information just in case.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Peg (PegCole17),

      Thanks for reading my article and sharing your MRI experience with us. Not moving is difficult after one after one has been rolled into the MRI machine. Having a panic button to hold is very reassuring.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Audrey (vocalcoach),

      Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub.

      My friend goes to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles for his MRIs. The last few times he has had an MRI, his physician ordered an intravenous sedative. This greatly helped my friend relax.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      CraftytotheCore,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      DreamerMeg,

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it.

      Being prepared for an MRI...knowing what is going to happen...is a big help. "Fear of the unknown" can lead to anxiety.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Excellent article that many people will be find useful. I get catscan's (MRI'S) often as a lung cancer survivor. I also have claustrophobia pretty bad but not as bad as my twin sister. I can't explain why the MRI machine doesn't bother me but it just doesn't. I'm use to it now but even when I first had a MRI, it didn't panic me which many things do. I do shut my eyes because I always worry that it could be bad for my eyes. (even though they say it doesn't). I will be sharing this important article for those that have claustrophobia or no someone that does. Thanks so much :-)

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Minnetonka Twin,

      Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment.

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 3 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      More than useful and very well done.This is a very informative hub. One thing that I will agree with you about is the clanking noise, that is what I found to be the most distracting along with having to stay absolutely still, while you feel a very warm pressure as if you have to go to the rest room. The doctors said that it was expected to be felt (a side effect of sorts). none-the-less no matter how uncomfortable it got the job done.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      loveofnight,

      Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment.

    • profile image

      Tanja10 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for this article but I wish I'd found it 4 days ago before my MRI for a shoulder injury.

      I remember the lady who scheduled my appt. asking me if I was claustrophobic, I'd had an MRI years ago but it was a very large machine so I thought oh why is she asking me that, it's so easy....famous last words.

      So, in I go and see a very small tube, my first question..am I going to fit in it and are you going to be able to get me back out! they were so calm so I thought I was over reacting, omg, in I go and the thing is inches from my face..."Keep calm, keep calm..." nope, I lasted 5 mins and had to be pulled out...then after being told you can come back and have a sedative I thought oh just do it.

      I will say for me it was really mind over matter, kept telling myself to keep calm, you are okay...good advice to keep eyes closed, sing in your head, think happy thoughts, kept telling myself your legs are hanging out so they can pull you out ...I had ear plugs in and after 20 mins was pulled out, I was actually almost asleep...now I know what to expect, hope I never have to have another one though.

      The technician told me, with a straight face, they had never had someone panic before, then another said people do all the time.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Tanja10,

      Welcome to HubPages. It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting the anecdote about your MRI experience.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Daisy - I came back to read this again and take a look at the new images. I'm having an MRI soon and because I suffer from claustrophobia I felt that reading this hub again would empower me. It has.

    • fiftyish profile image

      Andy Aitch 3 years ago from UK & South East Asian Region

      If this is a problem with Claustrophobia, and I can see how it would be, then surely in extreme cases the scan could be done under a general anesthetic. Like the saying goes, if you want to hit the dog, you'll always find a stick (figuratively speaking of course). I've never actually seen an Open MRI Machine. Also, where I live, they don't inject with a contrast dye, you just have to drink a big bottle of illuminous green liquid 30 minutes or so before the scan.

      I think I'm reaching the age now where health related topics are becoming more interesting, hence me ending up here, but whether that's a good thing of not, I'm not sure lol :)

      Andy Aitch

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 3 years ago from Planet Earth

      I can so relate to this hub! I had to get a fairly routine scan recently, in a similar machine - it wasn't nearly as confining or as long as an MRI, but I truly felt the claustrophobia setting in, and I realized if I ever have an MRI, I will have to address this.

      Such a helpful topic.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Audrey (vocalcoach),

      Thanks for returning to read my article another time. I replaced one of the tunnel MRI photographs with a better image, and I added two photographs and two videos.

      I'm sorry that you're going to have an MRI soon, but I'm glad that my article and everyone's comments have been a help to you.

      Will you have to drive very far from Idyllwild to the MRI facility? My friend lives in Orange County, California. Even though there are MRI facilities closer to home, he drives 65 miles to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. It's one of the top five hospitals in the country, and he feels better going there for the scans.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Andy Aitch (fiftyish),

      It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment.

      If a patient is extremely claustrophobic, the person should notify their physician of the fact, so the physician can transit appropriate instructions to the MRI facility.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Marcy,

      It's good to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it.

      If you ever need to have an MRI, be certain to tell your physician who orders the scans about your claustrophobia. He can possibly include instructions about medication when he transmits the MRI order to the facility which will be doing the scans.

    • profile image

      Sally 2 years ago

      My sister-in-law has MS and frequent pain spasms. She is due for another MRI and wondered what kind of sedative would be best to help her lie still. She was not sedated during the last one and had a spasm, causing blurred results.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Sally,

      Thank you for reading my article and posting your comment. Your sister-in-law should ask the physician who orders her MRI about sedation.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I recently had a CT Scan for the first time. I was claustrophobic for a few seconds, but it passed because it's just a large donut. But, my reaction was proof that I would panic in an MRI. No doubt about it.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Linda (Sunshine625),

      Thanks for reading my article another time and adding your comment. I would hope an MRI would not be necessary, but if it were, speak with your physician about having a sedative such as Versed (midazolam) administered intravenously. This procedure has helped my friend endure his twice-yearly MRIs.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 2 years ago from Southern Clime

      I always thought that I was claustrophobic until I had my first MRI in a tunnel machine, followed by two more in the same. I fell asleep in the first one and nodded in the other two. The last machine was noisier than the first two, but drowsiness helped it to be less bothersome.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Levertis Steele,

      Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. The only problem about which I'm aware with falling asleep during an MRI procedure is that one might move.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 20 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent hub and so very important too!

      I have been there, done that! And it was some twenty years ago . Thank God nothing adverse was diagnosed. I can relate to it. I thought I would never come out of that hole.

      A very useful and informative hub indeed and a must read.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 20 months ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Chitrangada,

      Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. Undergoing an MRI procedure is not a fun experience, but the test is an important diagnostic tool.

    • profile image

      Linda S. 7 months ago

      Well, seven years ago I had my first open MRI and did fine. Hubby was there, hand on my leg, steadying any fears I had. Yesterday, I went in for a follow-up, and freaked out. Hate to admit it but I was in the machine for a total of maybe 5 seconds and wanted out....now. I think it was due to a lot of things, but I rescheduled for a few days from now, and here is what I plan to do to prepare. Put one of those nose bands on my nostrils so I can BREATHE unfettered (I was stuffy yesterday from allergies), take xanax or valium BIG TIME (what ever dose my doc says is safe), have hubby there (of course - helps tremendously!), pick out some good distracting music to listen to, and really TRY to keep my eyes closed. It is hard to keep your eyes closed, and I commend those of you who are able to do it. I feel vulnerable with them closed, but maybe that is what I will need to do. Don't know how it will go, but I'll let you know in a few. Hope I can do this. I'm also afraid to drive over tall (very tall) bridges....go figure......:(

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 7 months ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Linda S.,

      Thank you for reading my article and sharing your MRI experience with other readers. I hope you have fewer problems involving your rescheduled MRI.

    • profile image

      Mika 6 months ago

      Thank you...Thank you!!!

      I'm going in for an MRI in about 4 hours from now and the anxiety that I am feeling is almost overwhelming. It's on the open machine so I'm hoping that this experience will be better than my first try in the tunnel. Reading this hub has provided reassurance and really good (useful) tips. I have the Valium prescribed by my doctor just for this procedure and now all I need is to buy a sleep mask right after work. Wish me luck...

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 6 months ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Mika,

      I'm so glad my article has helped you and many others deal with the anxiety of undergoing an MRI procedure.

    • profile image

      nevet smith 4 months ago

      Hi, Could someone tell me what intravenous sedative works the best. I am extremely claustrophobic and doctors routinely want me to use the closed end mri machine. Thanks Nevet

    • profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 4 months ago

      Nevet, Ask your doctor. Every body is different, so if you get your answers from commenters, they may vary widely and may not be right for you.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 months ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Nevet,

      Thanks for reading my article. The physician who orders your MRI has to decide whether you need a sedative. That individual will decide what type of sedative you might need, and which specific one. Readers of this article cannot answer your question. Only your physician can.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image
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      Daisy Mariposa 4 months ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Nancy,

      Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I appreciate your responding to the question posted by Nevet Smith, one of my readers.

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