If you are getting an MRI, there are some things that you will want to know to help you prepare. I will tell you what I’d have liked to have known before my MRI. By sharing my knowledge and experience I may help others or teach others – before they go through the MRI .
Things You’ll Need:
- Pain-medication, or a sedative (provided by your doctor) if needed
First of all, they might ask you if you are claustrophobic because the MRI machine is very confining. It is sort of like laying in a small coffin for 35 or 40 minutes. Even if you don’t think that you are claustrophobic, you may experience some panic if you are in pain and can’t move. If you need to, ask for a sedative and have a friend or family member take you to the appointment. If you stay perfectly still throughout the MRI, it will take around 30 to 40 minutes, but if you do not stay still, the MRI can take much longer.
Make sure you tell them if you have any piercings and any metal implants in your body! Remove all jewelry before going to the appointment. Make sure that you have earplugs, or they provide them because the MRI procedure is VERY loud!! It sounds like a jack-hammer or helicopter is in the room with you. For this reason, set up a signal like moving your feet if you need to stop or shift around so the person in the other room viewing the MRI can stop and help you (they won’t be able to hear you if you say anything with all that noise).
Work on deep breathing techniques to stay as calm as you can. Practice visualization or meditation before going, so you know how to do it to stay calm during the MRI. I imagined that the heat was me laying-out on a beach, and the noise was reggae music playing in the background. This helped me A LOT. If I hadn’t had that image to visualize and deep-breathing, I would have probably really panicked! The pain in my back got so bad I needed to shift so bad, and I couldn’t, so I started feeling “shut-in” and would have freaked out, but I just did deep breathing and picturing being on the beach with the reggae music playing and I didn’t completely panic. It was also making my back really warm, which I imagined was the sun. And again, this was another way of re-framing the situation so that my mind would “deal”.
Tips & Warnings
- If you have any pain, take something for it. Towards the end of the procedure I felt hot pain running through areas of my body where I have chronic pain. I actually even had hot pain running through areas that I hadn’t had hurt in a long time. I had no clue what it would be like so I didn’t take or get anything before I did the MRI, which is why I am recommending anyone with pain take at least an over-the-counter pain medication like Ibuprofen. But had I known that before, it would have been unpleasant, but not nearly as bad. So if you are prepared, then you know to take some pain meds and get ready for some noise, you will do fine if you deep breath and pretend you are somewhere else…Jamaica or something!