Anybody got any tips on getting through MRI

Hi everyone just wondering if anybody’s got any tips on how you distract yourselfs during a dreaded MRI going on Monday and really dreading it even though I’ve had 4 before it doesn’t get any easier!? Any tips would be much appreciated…thanks emma x


My GP gave me Diazepam which relaxed me and just took the anxiety away. Good luck Emma!

Steve x

well for a start off ask for the blindfold it really makes a difference.

good luck.


Hi Steve I’ve got diazepam, got 10 2mg should I take them all! Lol only kidding think I will take 2 and Lisa I’ve never been offered a blindfold! Will have to ask although may feel worse I wish they could just stick your brain in wouldn’t be so bad! I’m not looking forward to results either as I’ve been diagnosed with CIS and would like to keep it that way!!! I’m on interferons anyway so not going to change that but mentally easier to deal with than there being more lesions and and a CDMS diagnoses…cause you can think I might not have another attack but doubtful as got lesions on my spine too! But you can ways hope as I’m feeling fine right now…I have odd weird sensory things from time to time but fingers crossed I’m lucky right now!..thanks for advice x

You sure you’re in the right room Lisa!!

Hi Emma, I have had a few MRI scans done.I don’t like them.When I had mine done i kept my eyes shut and told the man before he done the scan that I didn’t like them,so he spoke to me quite a lot.Try and go someone else in your mind. Good Luck

Hi Emma

I found closing my eyes made it worse.

I guess we each have to find our own way of coping. What has helped me the most is counting to try and estimate how long each scan would take …one thousand, two thousand…

I’ve had quite a few scans now and they have got easier

Good Luck!


When you get right down to it, MRI Scans are just noisy, boring, and maybe a little claustrophobic.

You can listen to music, but you cannot read. You can think. You can watch the top of the tunnel (unless its an open frame scanner) and see if you can spot it moving. You can count the different vibrations. You can ask the operator to talk you through what is happening. I have never needed Diazepam, but lots of people swear by it.

And, when it is all over, you get off the machine and say “Was that it?”

Not exactly the thrill of a lifetime but they really are not that bad.


I do the times tables in my head. Go as far as I can so in the end I’m trying to work out 12 x 36 etc.

Quite a challenge and certainly distracting!

Pat x

I weirdly counted how long each drilling noise lasts…as they speak inbetween, for example say this will be five mins etc, so id count! Weird I know. X

I fell asleep in the scanner 3 days ago. I just close my eyes and listen to my breathing. Don’t try and change it or speed it up or anything just listen.

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Close my eyes, count the time, one,one, two, two etc, and think of a nice holiday i had

ha ha like a few of the others have said, i count to work out how long it lasts.

trouble is i can get a bit OCD at times. its all to do with copaxone having to hold the needle in for 10 seconds.

don’t worry, get something to relax you, listen to the person operating the scanner and tell yourself that you are having a nice lie down without people distracting you.

you’ll be fine

carole x

Thanks everyone for your advice have tried the counting thing but just end up losing count lol! Think Might give the times tables a go! Then I can help the kids with their homework!..hopefully it won’t take long another question have most of you had your follow up scans with contrast and I can’t remember how long r u usually in the scanner for? …Emma x

Hi again, follow up scans aren’t always with contrast… and it seems more and more that the radiographer decides on the day whether to use contrast or not. Sometimes even if the neuro has asked for contrast the radiographer might not use it after seeing the initial images. My neuro told me this is normal practice.

If I remember rightly, brain scan is about 30 mins and brain plus spine is about 50 mins. But it does vary a bit so that’s very approx.

Pat x

yep i was in the right room. first time i had an mri,i was an inpatient and had something to relax me. i was still very scared when i got there and the nurse that went with me said about the blindfold. The next time i couldnt have anything to relax me so i just had the blindfold. I was ok so since then ive just had that. You have to ask, my last mri was at a different hospital, they said they hadnt got one at that scanner but someone went and got one from another scanner.

I had the contrast and was in it just over the hour although this did seem longer than normal.


I just had an MRI on Monday and I had one without contrast which lasted about 20 minutes then they whizzed me out, stuck the dye in and then back in the scanner for another 10 minutes. I had diazepam for the first time after lots of panicky scans in the past and it really did do the trick - I felt quite floaty and not really bothered that I was in there at all and normally I would be crying. I took 2 diazepam but make sure someone’s with you if you do that as I fell asleep on the way home! Good luck, I’m sure it will be fine x

I could not go through with my first MRI and was given diazepam for the last two I have had. I also put together a CD of my favourite music and had it played during my last MRI. Oh and I told everybody including the receptionist just how nervous I was (and still will be again) and my husband was allowed to be with me the whole time, just knowing he was there helped me. They also fitted a mirror so I could at least see through the back a bit. The diazepam certainly helped me - I took them all and all the staff were really good and tried to reassure me.

Vicki x


Think I had prozac but it was a long time ago.

I closed my eyes the whole time and listened to music - just don 't sing along or you might move.

Did get a bit of panic attack , sweating, heart racing etc. was about to press the panic button but decided that if I did that

I’d have to do it all again another time. Managed to calm myself down by thinking the drilling sound was me riding my motorbike round the Isle of Man (never done that but could imagine )was proud of myself when it was finally over.

Hope it goes well. Jen x


ive had about 4 of those now and i hate them but just remember the noise is just that noise, wear the ear plugs and head phones.take along some music and try to listen to that or the radio and just close your eyes that helped me.

hope it goes ok for you you.