The MRI sends blasts of sound, a magnetic force spinning round. With headphones on I greet it’s song. It’s weird loud sounds to soldier on. A veteran now I know it’s way, and settle in for my stay. Bleep bleep bleep and a…boom boom boom, still another 40 minutes ’til I leave this room.
8 things to know are below.
Here I am again. I’m an MRI veteran so thought I’d share how I go about things in this space.
- In the early days it took ages, over an hour. I never knew how much time had gone by. Just me and the machine.
- The next time they had a microphone and would tell me where I was up to. “The next section will be 10 minutes”.
- A couple of years later you could bring your favorite CD to play. That was a game changer for me. I settled in knowing exactly what to expect.
- Today they are much quicker. My provider is also linked up to YouTube so you can ask for any type of music. Wow, things have come such a long way!
Save time stay still
If you stay still they don’t have to keep redoing it. Look at ways to make sure you are still. If you get twitchy legs from laying down too long let them know beforehand. They can put sandbags on your legs. If you’re worried about your arms moving they can tuck you comfortably in. Remember the goal is stay still and get it over and done with.
Buzzer is your friend
You will have a buzzer that you hold in one hand. If you aren’t coping you can press it and they will talk to you through the headphones you have on.
Close your eyes
Close your eyes once you have lain down. They used to give me an eye mask but not these days. With your eyes closed you can almost imagine you are in bed…well not quite when you have all the beeps and booms and other weird sounds. Still closing your eyes helps, especially if confined spaces make you feel uncomfortable.
They put these in my ears but I always readjust them to make sure they are cutting out as much sound as possible. The MRI machine is loud! Make sure you have your earplugs firmly in and that you feel comfortable.
Did you go pottie?
Go to the toilet before you go in.
Fill out the forms correctly
Metal or magnetic, they need to know! Think about it and be honest so that they can work around any implants, etc. There are so many questions so spend the time and don’t rush through.
Then there is the dye they inject via a cannula for me. Don’t think everyone gets that though. I make sure I drink heaps of water first thing in the morning or a few hours before so my body is hydrated. For me it makes finding a vein easier. A heat pack can also work for some people.
Yay you read my whole post. I am very impressed.
When I first went down this road it was really unsettling. Not only is it coming to grips with the whole MRI process but also it’s ultimate diagnosis. You soon realise that you are almost interwoven with the machine cause you will be coming back again and again. It knows me so well.
Well that’s my take away from today’s MRI. Until next year!
Sketch by DEE GRANT 2021