MRI nightmares :-(

I’ve now had 3 nightmares about having MRI’s, and am now seeing them when looking at round things… this is disturbing me considering I haven’t got as far as getting a first appointment with my new doctor yet! Which by the way, I’ve now received the confirmation letter for :slight_smile: Is this normal? Cos if I’m this scared now…Tho I did read about going private for upright MRI’s, which im willing to raid my piggy bank for! Also, soo hot and exhausted, am already feeling how much I will have to alter my lifestyle in the next 6 months with reactions to things :frowning:

MRI scanners are absolutely, completely, and any other adjective you want to use, safe. They CANNOT hurt you in any way whatsoever unless you have a pacemaker or loose metal (i.e. shrapnel) in your body. (The reason they’re bad for pacemakers and metal is that the scanner is basically a massive magnet.)

Upright / open MRIs are not as powerful as normal ones, so much more would be missed. They are an option, but really not a great one. It would be much more sensible to get yourself some valium or another sedative so you can be scanned on a normal scanner.

Hand on heart, swear on my kids’ lives, MRI scanners are safe.

Karen x

How are you on your times-tables? Bit rusty eh? I always use MRI time to brush up on them. I lie there and go right through them and then move onto 13 times etc!

I just counted that I’ve had 4 (hmm maybe 5) MRI’s in all and they’re really not that bad at all. As Karen says, there’s no way they can hurt you. You have a panic button. The nurses are right outside and in contact with you. You go and treat yourself to a lovely meal afterwards… maybe a bit of retail therapy…

Honestly hon. Don’t be scared. As Karen says, get something to calm you down. It’s comfy in there and not dark and nothing at all to be scared of.

Take care and let us know how you do,

Pat x

I was terrified about the prospect of having an MRI, but I had my 3rd scan last week and I actually fell asleep half way through. They aren’t pleasant and they are very loud but they do not hurt in any way at all, if you can lie still and let your mind wander for a little while you will be fine. Zoe

Hi, I was the same really scared when the neuro said I needed a MRI scan and asked if I was clastropobia which I am, I then I was having nightmares, he gave me a prescriction which would care me, but I was glad I didn’t it, it wasn’t clastropbia at all was really light you could see to the other end, I thought it would be dark and very low nearly touching my face, it was very noisy although a friend said she fell asleep!! I kept my eyes shut all the time and it went really quick and the second one I had I didn’t worry at all, If you are like me I got so worryed about it and imagined all sorts of things that afterwards I was really mad with myself that I had spend months worrying about it! I sure everything will be ok for you. Sue

Hi Sue, I’m claustrophobic, and my main fear is it being low ceiling (well roof whatever you call it) and hot. The nightmares involved me getting halfway in, it being like 100 degrees and the roof being an inch away from my face,not being able to breath and being trapped. But I’m reassured to know thats it not that low, approx. how low would you say it is? As long as I can see the way out as it were, have constant distraction, and can feel a circulation of cool air i know i will be ok. I’m not sure about getting a sedative to relax me cos my body is so reactive it’d prob have the opposite effect! Finberry, I’ve heard that if its a brain scan they gotta put something on your head? And spine ones you gotta go most of the way in, so something bound to be touching you? I will certainly ask about having someone in with me, but as yet Mum still doesn’t know I’m building my way up to the first new doc. appointment, so really don;'t know what her reaction would be. Not sure she would come with me :frowning: I’m probably getting scared over nothing but im like that i need constant reassaurance…

Hi, I would say its about a foot to the ceiling, you can see to the other end and It’s really light, I have terrible hot flushs it wasn’t hot at all, also you take your bottom half off (not your pants!!) so its quite cool, I had a brain scan they put like padding round your head, I need to have another scan in a few months to see if my treatments working, I would rather be doing something else, but I need to see if the treatment is working (hopefully) I just keep telling myself has long has the treatment is working I don’t mind how many scans I have. don’t worry Sue

Thanks Sue, that’s really reassured me. Having trouble picturing a foot, but I think its better than an inch! Feel like I can go ahead and make that first appointment now, thankyou! hope your scans go well and things are working for you.

I (almost) had my first MRI last week but had a panic attack. I wasn’t prepared for it so this scared me more. I was booked in for another MRI a few days later and I got some diazepam from my GP (who was very sympathetic and said he was the same). The scanner is open at both ends but because I was having head scanned I had this cage thing over my head. It wasn’t touching me but it meant I could not see up the end of the tunnel. It was very cool inside and I could feel a fan on my arms which helped massively! It wasn’t the noises that freaked me and I knew it was perfectly safe, it was purely the feeling of being trapped inside a small tube. It actually isn’t that small. I had a panic button and the radiographer was talking to me the whole time (although I couldn’t hear what she was saying due to earplugs). I did make it the second time and was pleased I did. Going for my results tomorrow!

The first time I was unprepared but the second time I remembered some useful breathing exercises and managed to keep calmish, long enough for the scan to be done. It was over in a few minutes. I was only half way in so legs were sticking out. Not fully inside the scanner.

Be as prepared as you can and you will get through it.

It’s not pleasant for someone with claustrophobia but you can overcome it with the right help (ie.drugs!lol) and breathing etc.

Oh, it is light in there. Not dark at all but I wore an eye mask and it helped.

Well done you on getting through it! Oh brilliant, a fan is what I need! The cage thing is what worries me but I guess its wrong to assume I would need a head scan, could you see down one end of the tunnel? Will keep my fingers crossed for good results for you! hugs

My biggest fear when I had my first MRI was the lack of head room and the heat but I was determined to go through with it. I kept my eyes tight shut from beginning to end so I wouldn’t see how close the roof was to my head, I was suprised to learn the tunnel is open at both ends, so although you go in head first, your head is actually very near an open end. A soft breeze was blowing throughout, so even though it was a hot day outside, inside the tunnel it was very cool. I felt very kalm and imagined i was on a beach in some far away country, where native people where playing kettle drums and I was lazing on a soft beach. It all went very quick and I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep.

I have had several since and still feel a little apprehension before, but when I am in there it is not that bad and actually quite relaxing in a funny sort of way, The secret it to keep eyes tight shut from beginning to end.

I only wish I could get myself with the same mind set about LP. I have refused this procedure because I am terrified of it going wrong and the pain involved or it setting my problem back into spasm. Any advice for fears on this would be greatly appreciated.

Best of luck

Denise x

I said to the radiographer that it would help if the scanner were outside so I could feel some breeze and she said she would put the fan inside on full for me. It was nice and cool on my arms. I couldn’t see the end of the tunnel because of the head cage thing as it was enclosed at the top of my head but I put the eyemask on and tried to forget I couldn’t see my way out. She also gave me a little mirror so I could see her and the exit doors etc. You can see a little bit of the outside of the scanner. I suppose it’s to give you the illusion of being outside? I guess it’a a phycological thing?

Go for it and good luck!


I think its probably mostly in my mind, but there’s no denying they look scary! Knowing my luck, I’ll just be brushed aside by this doc. too, but I’ll give it a go!

the staff let my husband come in with me as after 45mins I had full blown panic attack, which was the first time and I have had four MRI before! they put a mirror up so I could focus on his face which helped as he is a joker and kept pulling faces at me!

nice staff then coco, thats good :slight_smile:

Hi there,

Please try to be reassured that mri’s are nothing to worry about. I have just been diagnosed with ms and am currently having to choose which dmd I want but because I am a needle phobic I am absolutely terrified of any of these treatments. If treatment was in the form of mri scans I would say “bring it on”. I refused point blank to have a Lumbar Puncture as that sounds totally awful.

I have had a brain and cervical/thoracic spine mri and it really is fine. The radiographer is able to talk to you through a mike ( both ways), they tell you if something is going to be particularly noisy and roughly how long some stages will take. You can hear them even though you have earplugs. You have a soft touch panic button in your hand and they will not mind if you have to use it. I always keep my eyes shut ( not too tight as I get a headache ) and just think of everyday things. It is not dark and actually feels quite airy. You can feel how light it is even with your eyes shut. Yes, it IS noisy, some noises are like pneumatic drills and some like sharp knocking against metal. Sometimes you will feel the bed you are laying on move backwards and forwards ( depending on what mri you’re having).

The only bit of discomfort I felt was laying still for so long as I suffer from arm muscle spams and I was finding keeping my arm still quite difficult.

I am not unduly claustrophobic so can’t really relate to that fear but just remember that the radiographers have experienced peoples fears before and they know exactly what to do. I am absolutely sure that you’ll be fine and really pleased with yourself for doing it.

Good luck


thanks Anne-Marie, i hope you find a treatment that works for you hugs