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What An MRI Is Really Like – For Scaredy Cats

By: Matthew Simmons Collection: Getty Images Entertainment
By: Matthew Simmons Collection: Getty Images Entertainment

Before I even start this story – you should know I am a wuss when it comes to most things medical.  A full blown, complete scaredy cat. I have been very fortunate in my life and have not spent a ton of time dealing with medical stuff. Other than my mom being a pharmacist and being at her workplace, I haven’t spent much time in hospitals. No surgery’s, no broken bones – nothing.

About a year ago, I was in a car accident that has left me with some recurring back and neck problems.  Last week my doctor decided that it was time to go ahead and get an MRI.  Don’t get me wrong, I am excited because medically it will show us what’s going on – but I immediately was hesitant.  I have heard numerous horror stories about how small it was, and how bad of an experience it was.  I am a not a huge fan of tight spaces, so needless to say I wasn’t excited.

Good news this morning, I am happy to report that I made it through it – and here’s what an MRI is really like if you have ever wondered.  This was just my experience, you may have a different story.

- If you have to get an MRI, I  had a great experience with Advanced Medical Imaging at Bozeman Deaconess.  I can’t thank the ladies there enough.  They were absolutely wonderful!

- Yes, it is really is tight in there.  We will just get to the point.  Your shoulders do touch the side, and you do kind of feel like you are in an tunnel. On average the technician told me you will have six to eight inches above your face.

- It’s not as bad as you think it will be. Truthfully. Both ends of the machine are open, so you do feel like you are close to the outside (and freedom of space). You don’t feel restricted.  You can have your hands by your side, on your chest wherever.  You can wear pj’s as long as there’s no medal, and they give you a blanket.

- Whatever needs to be scanned has to be in the middle of the machine.  That meant for me, the first half of it I was only in to about my knee’s.  For me, this made a huge difference.

- Yes, the table does move during the MRI.  You may want to have the nice technicians give you a heads up.

- Close your eyes on when they move you in and out.  I don’t know why, but I hated this part!

- It’s not dark at all.  For some reason I thought it would be.  Because your head is so close to the end, it’s not!

- It’s REALLY loud.  Uberloud.

- You can have someone in the room with you!  This was a big one for me.  I just wanted someone I trusted close by – let’s be honest, to get me out of the damn thing if I got scared! Not that I didn’t trust the MRI technicians, but you want someone you know if possible. I couldn’t see or hear my boyfriend Ross, but to know he was there was huge.

- If you are nervous, call the day of and talk with the person you will be having administer the MRI.  That was really helpful for me. When she was answering my questions, I knew it was her that I would be there with.

- Final point, and big point.  If all of the above fails – YES, you could escape.  :)

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