Babies: 9 - 12 Months

I have to get an MRI on Monday...

My sciatica has gotten so bad that my dr wants to see if there is just pressure on the nerve or if I have a slipped disc. I am really dreading it. I'm not claustrophobic, but I think anyone would be freaked out my 45 minutes in a small tube where you have to be completely still. Plus it kills to lay flat on my back. I was prescribed Ativan to take beforehand but I don't know how much that is going to help.

Anyone had an MRI and can give me words of encouragement?


Re: I have to get an MRI on Monday...

  • Never had one before but just wanted to say..hang in there. Once you get in let your mind go somewhere "happy". Beach, mountains, whatever can take you tranquil. Ativan is a pretty good mood relaxer. I took them for insomnia. GL :)
  • yaleyale
    Long-Lasting Membership 2500 Comments
    It's not that bad. They'll give you headphones because there's a lot of loud banging. Just close your eyes and try your best to stay relaxed. I hope you get to the root of your problem. I have a bulging disc in my lower back that causes me chronic back pain and sciatica. I've done everything (injections, acupuncture, PT, etc) to try and treat it... pilates, physical therapy and traction have been my saving grace. Good luck to you. I think you'll be relieved when you finally know what exactly is causing your problem so you can begin to tackle it.
  • i had one not that long ago for my back and neck.  when the machine started sliding me back into the tube i thought i was going to freak out, but i knew if i did it would just prolong the process.  one thing i do recommend is to not open your all.  and ask the person who is running the machine to let you know how long each picture taking session will be.  for instance, one part may take 2 minutes, where you cannot move.  it helped me to know how long i would have to be still with the VERY loud noises because i would count to myself.  if i didn't know how much time had passed the two minutes would have felt much longer.  i was in there for almost an hour.  you will be fine...i promise!
  • My mom just had a head and neck scan yesterday and was in there for an hour and a half. She said keep your eyes closed so you don't feel like you're confined, breathe deep and go somewhere else in your mind.
  • Also...even though it takes 45 minutes, they break them up. Like you have to be still for 2 minutes, and the one is only 30 seconds, and then one is 4 minutes. Mom said the longest one was 9 minutes.
  • I haven't had one, but I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you're dealing with that, and wish you good luck.

    Try not to stress ...  the ativan should help ;) 

  • my husband had one a year ago...took about an hour...he said it wasn't too bad...they gave him headphones and his choice for some music and he just kept his eyes closed and tried to veg out...good luck!
  • I have had an MRI, for the exact same reason as you.  I did have a slipped disc as a result of a car accident.  It wasn't too bad...more boring and annoyingly loud than anything.

    Oh, and I got to wear some one-size-fits-all XXXL blue paper shorts during the MRI (you don't get to wear your own clothes).  They were quite stylish, to say the least!  I think they started at my rib cage and went down past my knees, with enough room in the waist to fit me in there x3!  So you have that to look forward to!

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  • I had one... It wasn't horrible. They gave me headphones and I just laid there and closed my eyes. You do hear some banging noises but eventually I just blocked them out. My technician kept talking to me, asking if I was ok. It went pretty fast... Good luck!


  • I had one last year and found out that I have 3 bulging discs in my lower back. I thought that I had nerve damage on my leg from a bee sting, but it turned out to be the bulging discs. :( The MRI isn't that bad, (it was a little uncomfortable bc they put something heavy to weigh down my pelvis) but they played music in my headphones.

    I ended up having to have 3 epidural injections in the center of my tailbone. We did one every week for 3 weeks. The first time really wasn't that bad, the second time I thought they didn't give me enough chill out medicine, and the third time I found out that the pain just got increasingly worse bc the spot was tender. 

    Overall the injections worked really well, but I think I'm going to need to do something again bc the pain is coming back. I think I'm going to try a chiropractor this time.

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  • I have had 2, one for my ankle that wasn't so bad because they just put my feet and legs in, and the other to find a bulging disc in my neck.  FOr that one I was really feeling anxious about having it done.  The hardest part was trying to stay still just because I knew I couldnt move.  I wouldnt say I'm claustrophobic but I would rather avoid small spaces if possible.  It really wasn't that bad though.  I have always had a lot of back pain when flat on my back too, and the nurse actually put a little pillow under the small of my back to help.  They were super accommodating - comfortable blankets and pillows, either ear plugs or headphones with music.  They would ask over the speaker if I was feeling ok after every cycle it went through.  They told me in advance I could bring an mp3 player and they could hook it up in the control room to go to the special metal free headphones in the mri machine.  It seemed like they know a lot of people are uncomfortable with it so they put a lot of effort into making it better.  I also think the ativan will really help you relax :) 

    For me it was totally worth it to finally find out what had been causing all the pain I had been dealing with.  Luckily my bulging disc hasnt bothered me since I was 5 or 6 months pregnant.  Before that I would deal with it about 6 months out of every 12 months.  Physical therapy with traction also worked miracles for me.  Good luck and I hope you find out good news!

  • Thanks y'all! I don't feel as freaked out now.

    My dad is seriously claustrophobic and he had a torn rotator cuff that took him three years to get MRI'ed because he was so terrified. I'm thinking that some of that fear has rubbed off on me :)

  • image Tomkat8403:
    Also...even though it takes 45 minutes, they break them up. Like you have to be still for 2 minutes, and the one is only 30 seconds, and then one is 4 minutes. Mom said the longest one was 9 minutes.

    Yeah - I didnt realize this before the first MRI I had.  The neck MRI was about an hour total (would have been 45 minutes but I sneezed during one and they had to start over), but before each cycle started they would tell me how long it would be.  That helped a lot.

  • I haven't had one personally but everyone I know says they aren't as bad as they imagined. Good Luck Monday and I'll be thinking of you!
  • My dad is a neuroradiologist, and I have to get one on my brain every single year.  Most places allow you to wear your own clothes as long as you don't have any metal on wear something like sweatpants with no metal and a sportsbra. Don't wear your jewelry.  They will give you headphones usually to listen to music, or you will get earplugs (it is usually very loud).  They can see you in the tube through a camera and they give you something to hold that you can press if you get nervous, etc.  They will tell give you small breaks in between doing each grouping of films.  Try and stay as motionless as possible so they don't have to go back and redo any.  It is perfectly normal to be nervous about it (my dad always has to talk to people), but the techs are trained to make you feel comfortable.  I actually fall asleep now during mine....because even though the sound is extremely loud it is sort of hypnotic to me...and I don't like noise.  I get one every year because I have a pituitary tumor.
  • I tried to countdown the time by listening to the music they had playing. I averaged each song at 3 minutes. It help the time past and got my mind on something else.
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  • sam19sam19 member
    Never had one but wanted to say good luck! Sorry you've been in pain. :(
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  • I really, really appreciate all the well wishes!

    Makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside Left Hug

  • Ugh that sucks. ?I am sorry, hun. ?Hope those 45 mins go by quickly and that you get good results. ?
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