MRI Terror

I have been searching for first hand MS experiences on WordPress for almost a week now. I can’t believe the outpouring of support and the warmth from this community- you folks are amazing.

My curiosity has now turned to terror about the brain MRI. It sounds as though it’s bloody horrific!!! I had a spinal when I had my daughter so that isn’t as much a concern for me- I know what to expect.

Any tips for someone who suffers from some claustrophobia. Is there a panic button? Should I request sedation? My doctor said brain MRI but my spine is a huge issue- is that a separate scan?

Thanks in advance for your insights.


11 thoughts on “MRI Terror

  1. I don’t know about sedation; it would depend on what images they need. It’d be worth asking, but I wouldn’t bet anything on it. They do give you a panic button, but if you press it and they stop everything and they don’t have the images, they’ll make you go through the process again. What I do is close my eyes, stay incredibly still, and focus on the music (they usually give you something to listen to, or at least they have for me). I just focus on the words. It’s not much, but it does help me.


      1. I hope so ❤ But you do definitely have the ability, and they'll ask you if you're scared, and help take precautions for that, too, to try and make you more comfortable.


  2. Lexxi… my experience was music … they can give you head phones and play you some music.. a friend of mine had her ipod with her and the people doing her MRI offered to play her ipod playlist through the headphones that she was wearing….

    Rest… put yourself in a mediative state…

    Best Of Luck to you


      1. I so hope that my suggestion helps you… remember you can call to them, they will be able to hear you.. they will tell you that if you have any problems they can pull you out to give you a breather…

        Best Wishes To You Lexxi


  3. Hi Lexxi,
    I’m sorry you’ve joined the community but welcome. And I completely agree, this community is amazing!!! Like you, I suffer from claustrophobia and I was freaking about my first one. I asked my GP for something and he made it sound like they would give me something at the hospital. Nope. He’s a moron. Aaaaanyway, they do give you a panic button, and you can listen to music which can help too, though you still hear the crazy sound patterns of the machine too. I now take Ativan before an mri, focus on my breathing, and the last time I tried counting backwards from 1000, which really helped. You really have to focus, especially with brain fog!

    I found it really frustrating that I had to go back for three separate MRIs, first my brain, then my cervical spine and finally my thoracic. I think they do it to minimize the length of the mri, but I would have preferred combining the two spine ones, so you might ask if that’s possible.

    Good luck with everything, you got this! 💕


  4. Hi, Lexxi. This really is a supportive and inspiring community, so welcome. I agree with Amanda’s advice about the MRI. I’m claustrophobic, and taking something like Ativan or Xanax makes it much easier to get through. I’ve had MRIs with and without, and it’s so much better with the sedative, which has the added benefit of helping me remain still, even if I’m in there for two hours getting the scans all done at once. The other thing that has helped is keeping my eyes closed from the moment I hit the table to the moment the scans are done, and I request a washcloth to cover them as added insurance. I’m just over a year past diagnosis, and while things were rough at first, they’ve gotten so much better. I hope the same for you.


    1. Thank you for the tips Erin, I will definitely ask for a sedative. I still do not have a date, it’s frustrating waiting and it really builds it up in your mind or what to expect. I really appreciate your comment and support. I’m glad to hear that things have gotten better since your diagnosis, all the best to you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have had a few MRI scans now, and the last one was very peaceful and I was surprised to fine how long it had taken, once it was over, I was in such a peaceful, mindful place in my own head. I used a simple beating meditation the other day when I was at the dentist, and it went well, better than I had been thinking. I’m not scared of MRI scans, they don’t bother me, but I’m a bit phobic about going to the dentist.
    I was diagnosed with MS in 2010, and I’m doing well now, on Gilenya for seven years, and loving it, in terms of my mobility, cognition, everything. Fatigue is still there after a busy day, but I manage that.

    The most important thing with MS, I think, is to live a stress-free life as much as possible. I’m currently working on a new blog about being a Stoic, which is something that interests me a lot. Living the life of a stoic means not stressing about things that are out of my control, and doing the things I can do, to make my life better.


    1. Thank you for your comments. I really love your sentiments about recognizing what is out of your control and doing what you can to make your life better- such a great mantra. I struggle with the “What If’s”and I’m trying to work on changing those “what if’s” to “So what’s”. Reducing the stress definitely eases the soul. Thank you for sharing and reminding me about mindfulness.


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