Tag Archives: closed MRI

A tight squeeze

thank you noteA sincere thank you to Michael, the MRI technician at Lenox Hill Radiology, who was so patient with me today.

I have a history, recorded on this blog, of bad experiences with closed MRIs, and my claustrophobic fears seem to worsen with age.

Michael was extremely patient with this anxious, weepy woman who is far too old to be acting that way.

Many thanks, Michael.

Maybe I’ll outgrow this fear one day…like after I retire.

Don’t fence me in

ClaustrophobiaI’ve mentioned here before that I’m claustrophobic.

It’s getting worse instead of better.

I had to have another closed MRI yesterday, and unlike my experience a couple of years ago, I was a bit of a wreck.

The technician used all the bells and whistles to calm my fears — and trick my brain — into thinking I wasn’t in a narrow, closed tube.

But they didn’t work this time.

When I got home, I started reading up on possible therapies, cures even, for this debilitating fear.  Guess what the first recommendation is?

Get an MRI.

Sadists.

 

Conquering fears (with lots of help)

Today I survived a closed MRI.

For someone who is intensely claustrophobic, this is a red-letter event.

ClaustrophobiaI did my homework on the procedure, so I knew what to expect.  That’s why I opted for an open MRI when I needed imaging on my left shoulder a couple of years ago.

But an closed MRI was the only option today, which meant I had to face my fears.

I began by taking a light sedative, at my doctor’s advice — to take the edge off.  And the technicians were great, walking me through the device and the actual procedure step-by-step.  But the greatest help during what would have been 30 minutes of hell?

A series of mirrors that bounce images in the exam room back to me, so I always felt like I could see the outside world clearly…regardless of my position within the tube.

Hey — mind games are welcome here.

Testing

I’m having an MRI done today.

My left shoulder is injured (no doubt a result of daily blog postings to The Egg).

When my doctor put in the order with my insurance company, I made sure it said “open MRI” on all the paperwork.  And when I later made the appointment with the radiology center, I  re-confirmed that I was scheduled for an open MRI machine.

I would have to be sedated to go through the tunnel in the regular MRI machine.

Yep, I’m one of those claustrophobic types.  I don’t just talk the talk; I really am claustrophobic.  And unfortunately, my fear of tight spaces has reared its ugly head in public places in the past.

Most memorably, I panicked in the tiny, windowless elevator at the St. Louis Arch.  If you ever been, you understand.  If you’ve never been and you’re claustrophobic?

Don’t go.

Of course, going into my appointment today, I wonder if my chart has special notes on it because I specifically requested the open MRI.

Do you think there’s a medical code for ‘wuss?’