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EXTREME MRI ANXIETY? (UPDATED)
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The Pontificator
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: EXTREME MRI ANXIETY? (UPDATED) Reply with quote

I went in for an MRI earlier this week. The doctor ordered 2 brain scans and the total time I must spend in the machine is...NINETY MINUTES Shocked

I literally came unglued within five seconds. Obviously I'd make a poor candidate for the submarine service.

I have a couple of options at this point:

1. Oral medication (Ativan aka Lorazepam) and try it again.

2. Go to local hospital for MRI and be put under an IV or General anesthetic (HUGE BUCKS which I have to pay out of pocket)

3. Go to hospital's regional MRI clinic for the test to be taken in their "open" or "Short Barrel" MRI machine. Again...BIG BUCKS which I have to pay for out of pocket.

So what I'm asking is...

Has anyone had an MRI where they were prescribed Ativan (lorazepam) prior to being put in the tube and if so, how much does that stuff mellow you out?


Last edited by The Pontificator on Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ez061111
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject: Re: EXTREME MRI ANXIETY: anyone prescribed Ativan (lorazapam Reply with quote

The Pontificator wrote:
I went in for an MRI earlier this week. The doctor ordered 2 brain scans and the total time I must spend in the machine is...NINETY MINUTES Shocked

I literally came unglued within five seconds. Obviously I'd make a poor candidate for the submarine service.

I have a couple of options at this point:

1. Oral medication (Ativan aka Lorazepam) and try it again.

2. Go to local hospital for MRI and be put under an IV or General anesthetic (HUGE BUCKS which I have to pay out of pocket)

3. Go to hospital's regional MRI clinic for the test to be taken in their "open" or "Short Barrel" MRI machine. Again...BIG BUCKS which I have to pay for out of pocket.

So what I'm asking is...

Has anyone had an MRI where they were prescribed Ativan (lorazepam) prior to being put in the tube and if so, how much does that stuff mellow you out?


I was given valium about 15 years ago which certainly reduced my anxiety dramatically. Relaxing in that tight tunnel was difficult for me as well...the aid made it doable for me. I'm no doctor nor pharmacist so I know nothing about nor have any experience with lorazepam, but if it acts similarly I bet it would take the edge off. Good luck!
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The Pontificator
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Picked up the Rx at Wal-Mart today. Price for 2 pills was $4.37.

I'm going to re-schedule the MRI at the same place. This time I'm wearin' a sleep mask. They had offered me a washcloth to put over my eyes but I refused. BIG MISTAKE.

Will probably also look for some foam earplugs as well.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have friends who work in a lab and I went one time for a MRI I helped them for some research and they would do the one I needed.
The machine was open on the two ends.
For what they needed I only needed to go in up to my head for what I needed it was my full body.
They gave me some headphones with some choice of music, I love classical big mistake with open eyes (in addition it was a requiem, Verdi I recall) After 5 minutes I could not take and had to go out.
Next time I will bring a sleeping mask and some rock music.
(I hate to take pills)
You can have headphones if they offer it take them but stay away from classical music.
Good luck.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been there, done that! I freaked out when I had one for my eye troubles. They were trying to rule out MS at the time. I would definitely go with something like Ativan for the nerves. It totally helped me get through everything. Just take the maximum dose like an hour before you go. Don't to take them right before you go, cause it takes a while for the medicine to get into your blood stream. You can also ask them to increase the airflow through the MRI machine. I found that being cooler helped me stay calm. This also increased the airflow to my nose, which made it less stuffy and stale. I would absolutely stay away from the open machines. They really aren't that open and you have to stay in there longer because the magnets aren't as strong. I also heard the image quality is worse than a standard machines.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Pontificator wrote:
Will probably also look for some foam earplugs as well.

I'm surprised they didn't put little foam ones in your ears the first time around. I had one of my chest and they still put them in after taking my earrings out. I think it's kinda standard procedure to protect your ears from the noise.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consciously thinking about your breathing helps relax your mind.

If it takes 4 seconds to completely fill your lungs, take 8 seconds to exhale. Keep doing this and you will relax. In for 4, out for 8.

Typically what happens in a panic state is you subconsciously do exactly the opposite. You'll fill your lungs in 2 seconds and then only breath out for 1 second (hyperventilation).

Try the breathing exercise right now for 2 minutes and I guarantee you feel much calmer.

Hey if it takes meds to get you relaxed then so be it. You can still combine this breathing technique for additional benefits.
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The Pontificator
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get hyper just reading this thread. Sad

But I appreciate the advice. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Pontificator wrote:
I get hyper just reading this thread. Sad

But I appreciate the advice. Smile

You'll be fine with the meds. I forgot to say this before, but I actually ended up falling asleep in the machine the second time around. Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an MRI of the abdomen a couple days after having my appendix removed. I was down in the tube for like 30 minutes. Then they yanked me out to give me some dye and pushed me back in. Five minutes later I started feeling all flush and puked my guts out right inside the machine. I was so embarrassed!

You'll be okay though Pontificator! Drugs can help you get through almost anything. Smile
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The Pontificator
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went to Wally World this evening and picked up that giant bottle of two little pills (lorazepam). They way they took down all my ID info you'd think I was getting pharmaceutical cocaine or medical marijuana. Sheesh.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Pontificator wrote:
Went to Wally World this evening and picked up that giant bottle of two little pills (lorazepam). They way they took down all my ID info you'd think I was getting pharmaceutical cocaine or medical marijuana. Sheesh.

Did you see any funny looking people in line? Wink

Hey, that's actually something else that might help. Visualize stuff that makes you laugh or happy in there. I always do that when stuff bugs me out.
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MrBabou
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Pontificator wrote:
Went to Wally World this evening and picked up that giant bottle of two little pills (lorazepam). They way they took down all my ID info you'd think I was getting pharmaceutical cocaine or medical marijuana. Sheesh.

That's because it is an addictive drug. Some people will go to great length to get their hands on it. Makes for very cheap narcotics...

But don't worry, you taking them just that once you will be fine. I know about Ativan because my wife took some for a while. It is very good to take down the anxiety. But it should always be a temporary aid. In your case, it is very temporary Wink
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Zuma
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrBabou wrote:
That's because it is an addictive drug.

It's really cheap. I was actually addicted to Xanax/Alprazolam (basically the same stuff as Ativan) in my early 30s. I sort of had a nervous breakdown after some personal tragedies in my life. It took me almost a year to wean off the stuff.

You're going to be fine though Mr. Pontificator. One dose isn't going to hurt you. And good luck with the test! It sounds like you might be having some health issues going on. Sad
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The Pontificator
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zuma wrote:
MrBabou wrote:
That's because it is an addictive drug.

It sounds like you might be having some health issues going on. Sad


During the course of recent eye exam (for new glasses) the optometrist found disc edemas in the optic nerves of both eyes. Right eye, minor, Left eye, major.

Could be nothing. Could be something serious. But I have to have the MRI in order for them to find out.
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