2. I’d been trying to keep my cool about it, but on Wednesday I was very nervous. Why I don’t know. I guess I just hating having tests done on me. Plus the results of the MRI may reveal more about my Crohn’s disease – such as a worsening condition, or perhaps even worse, might not reveal much at all, meaning that the doctors will still be puzzling over just why I’m in so much pain. They know it’s Crohn’s, but they’re having trouble controlling it and pinpointing the exact source of my current problems.
3. I’m a nurse and I work in the emergency room so I know a bit about MRI’s, but you don’t really know something until you experience it, do you?
4. I went into the MRI knowing that I’d have to remove anything metallic that I was wearing, that the machine was noisy, and that the magnets that operate the machine have such a powerful force that my arms and legs might actually vibrate a little bit during the test. (nothing ended up vibrating)
5. I also knew, that even though I’m not claustrophobic that I might feel confined while I was in the machine.
6. What I didn’t know was how long the test was going to take, or that the machine would be so very loud that you really can’t think while you are in there. I also didn’t know that I was going to get an I.V. since part of my abdominal MRI needed to be done with contrast dye.
7. I didn’t tell the tech that was putting in my I.V. that I’m a nurse because I find that makes people nervous, and when you are nervous doing an I.V. it doesn’t always go as smoothly as it should. I turns out that it wouldn’t have mattered anyway since she wasn’t very good at I.V.s. She put in one of the smallest angiocaths – which is actually contraindicated when someones getting a contrast dye- just in case something goes wrong. Small IV’s tend to blow or block easily. She tied up my arm very tightly with the tourniquet for about 5 minutes – which likely collapsed my huge “don’t need a tourniquet” veins, hence her difficulties.
8. I then had to hold my left arm over my head outside the machine. I’ve had some shoulder problems in the past and while my shoulder hasn’t bothered me for sometime holding it in a position over my head for any length of time while cause it to start to hurt.
9. The test was supposed to take 45 minutes. I was hoping that it would be 10 or 15 minutes, how wrong I was! I think the test actually took closer to an hour since I went into the room at about 7 pm and came out at 8:15.
10. I was given earplugs to protect my ears during the test. It was a good thing because the machine is really loud. When it’s taking pictures or slices it thrums like a fast heart beat with a bam, bam, bam, bam noise. When it’s not taking photo’s it makes more of a chirping noise.
11. As I slide into the machine feet first I realized just how small the inside was. My head was resting on two pillows and when I finally got into the machine I think the upper surface of the inside was perhaps no more than 4 inches away from my face. That freaked me out a bit!
12. I decided to close my eyes for most of the test. I think that was a wise move because I felt calmer not seeing how closely I was surrounded by the machine. I was told not to move much – so by the time the test was over it felt like most of my body had fallen asleep. My shoulder was also aching terribly during the whole test given the position it was in. I think that was the worst part for me.
13. My advice to anyone having an MRI – hopefully not one that took as long as mine did – is for them to close their eyes and try to think of something else, take yourself someplace else. The machine sound was loud but it kind of had an electronic techno beat to it, so I tried to picture myself dancing away in a nightclub. It didn’t really work, but I tried!
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