MRI Ramblings

Saturday was the day of my MRI.  I didn't sleep well the night before, lying awake for at least an hour before finally dropping off. Waking up at 5am, after a restless night and finally waking up again at 7am, to my alarm going off and as I lay there, slowly remembering that it was the day of the MRI.

I showered and got myself ready with a slight knot starting to develop in my stomach, feeling warmer and warmer as I pottered around the house before leaving.

I left home almost an hour and a half before the appointment, allowing myself plenty of time for traffic and to get parked up. As it was, I was lucky with both and that was one less thing to stress over.  Once I had parked up, I headed to Costa with my notebook and a puzzle book, grabbing myself a coffee and something for breakfast, hoping it would settle my stomach.  I sat there, watching the time and listening to the old man sat near me swearing as he chattered away to the table next to him - honestly, I swear like a trooper at times but this was something else.  

As the time crept closer, I headed to the MRI department where I had to sit and wait for 20 minutes for the nurse to book me in as having arrived. I spent the 20 minutes smothering myself in a de-stress oil blend and concentrating on my breathing and I thought I had it together, I really did but as we went through the booking in procedure, I could feel tears pricking at my eyes and my anxiety starting to bubble away, just at the moment the nurse started to talk to me about fight or flight and dropped a bombshell. The consultant had told me that the scan took 20 minutes but she was wrong and it was, in fact, 40 minutes. 

MRI scan

I went through to the changing room with my gown and put everything in the locker, stupidly relieved that the gown was actually roomy on me rather than the alternative. And again, I thought I was ok, concentrating on my breathing. But then the radiographer came through for me and took me into the room.  They explained how noisy the machine was and asked me to make myself comfortable on the trolley, which wasn't at all comfortable, with my head in a moulded headrest and it was at this point I started to panic and get teary.  The radiographer offered to do a test run for me, to see how I felt going into the machine. She suggested I closed my eyes and started to move the trolley in. It started to move and I made the mistake of opening my eyes, to see the machine cms away from my nose and asked her to stop.  I was only head and shoulders in but that was enough and I told her in between sobs that I couldn't do it.  

I felt a combination of being mortified at not being able to do it and wasting their time and the appointment and complete embarrassment at losing it in front of everyone. Over a machine. The booking in nurse spoke to me after to make sure I was ok and told me that it isn't uncommon for people to get into the room and refuse to go through with it, with many of them not even getting near the machine.  She told me that despite needing the MRI, there were other options available in terms of a CT scan or sedation and that they would write to the consultant suggesting this and for me to get in touch with them directly so that we could hopefully speed the process up. 

I can't tell you just how disappointed I was with myself on Saturday.  I know that its just a machine. But its a very loud machine, combined with being in a small space in a hot room alone and as much as I wanted to go through with it, I clearly couldn't control how my body reacted to that. 

So yet again, I am no further forward and wait for the next step, whatever that might be.  

Have you had an MRI scan before? How did you find the experience? 


  1. I had no idea! Don't be hard on yourself, as it sounds like a perfectly normal reaction. I didn't realise there was no space in it! I hope the alternatives work just as well. Good luck.

  2. Oh my goodness, you poor poor thing. I have had an MRI before and I agree, it is a very scary experience. Sending you lots of positive vibes xxx #TwinklyTuesday

  3. Oh you poor thing! I know nothing I can say will help but you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. I genuinely don't think I could have got as far as you did. Big hugs!!! #TwinklyTuesday

  4. Oh Kate! Please don't be upset with yourself, it's a really scary thing and OMG that anxiety is an absolute pig; no matter how much you tell yourself it's OK anxiety will always win. You did so well to go for the dry run. Be proud of yourself. I'm certain, I couldn't have even got to the hospital alone without my anxiety stopping me, so you did way better than I ever would.


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