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Panic Attack?

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    Panic Attack?

    Man, I couldn't believe it, I went for a follow-up MRI, & freakin lost it. It was my 4th or 5th one, last one was 2yrs ago. I was in for about 2-3mins, I broke into major sweats, felt like 150 degrees, heart was pounding. I tried to ring the bell to stop, I couldn't find it right away & got even worse. I finally rang and told him to get me out. I flew off my shirt, dying of heat, then I started shivering like I was freezing to death.

    I didn't even try again, like the guy said, if I try right away I might screw myself up even more for next time. It was so weird, I'm not clostraphobic, but I freaked right out.

    I need this MRI to check my syrinx & surgery, (pain's back)so my DR. booked another & I'm gonna take a couple Ativan beforehand next time, man I hope they work. They won't knock you out cause you may twitch while you're sleeping, & you can't move.

    Anywho, Anyone done this before, What did you do? I can't beleive it, everything I've been through and I couldn't lay in a stupid tube again for 60mins. [img]/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

    I have to do this.. any tips?

    I'd ask your doc if there is anyplace that's doing the 'open' MRIs - I know they're becoming more common here.

    And yes, I've had a similar experience - don't feel bad! I was fine 'in the tube' as long as I kept my eyes shut and listened to music through headphones; but my elbow accidentally brushed the side of the tube and when I realized how close it was, I almost lost it!

    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa


      Find an Open MRI!
      I went through two rounds of surgery last winter and I found myself in the tube repeatedly.
      I experienced the same panic attack as yours on the (thankfully) last session.
      Good music helps if they can pipe that in for you.
      I can only say that I empathize with you. I experienced the heat up as well.
      Good luck in the future.


        Been there. First attack was in the 8th week or so of wearing a halo, man that sob had me itching so bad like when youve worn a cast on a leg and cant get to the itch [img]/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif[/img] anyway,had a new nurse ask me what I was rasing hell about one night, I told her about it, she said no problemo and slid a pillow case between the breast plate and me. problem solved!

        Next attack came after the halo was removed and was sent to have a mri on the same day...head floppin round like a bobble head doll after 9 weeks in that thing, I was so uncomfortable while in the tube I lost it big time! they pulled me out and sent me back to my room.

        This same nurse asked about the mri fiasco and said she would call the doc and make a suggestion. Next day doc gave me zoloft for few days..went to mri and breezed through it.It made me pretty mellow at the time. Might be an option for ya.

        Any chance you could find an open mri in your area?

        Having a panic attack sucks..that was the only time in my life I gave thought to pulling a trigger!

        Sheeezz...I hope it's not hockey withdrawl related [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]




          I sent an email to an imaging center in NY to make sure that open MRI is appropriate for the studies you need,and where such a facility might be in BC and they wrote back the following:

          Open MRI is appropriate for the evaluation of previous spinal surgery and the evaluation of a syrinx. The examination would be performed with the use of contrast to differentiate between scar tissue and any lesions.

          I understand that acces to such equipment in Canada is somewhat limited. You might try to contact the manufacturer of such equipment to determine if a site is located near you. Hitachi is the leader in open imaging technology, but Siemens, Philips, and GE also manufactur such equipment.

          Merik Dolber
          I hope you can find what you need, I actually freaked out in the MRI I had the time before last (#4), and had to be brought out of the tube. I repeated the study the next time with narcotic pain medication and flexeril. I was a zombie and thankful for it. Good luck which ever way it works out.



            Definitely look for an open MRI. I always try to keep my eyes closed and just concentrate on the music or other thoughts. If I open my eyes, I get a little freaked.


              I don't get what you are saying? You may need to take it to "care" - I hope you are ok - When I had a fever they put me in a bathtub of ice a SSC - BTW Marmalady are you SCI or a caregiver your post was not clear?

              Happy Thanksgiving,
              Matt [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]


                monkeygirl, Ive had several MRI's and I always ask for something to help sedate me, like sleepers. I hate MRI's and I cant even look inside them without my heart starting to beat up and getting the same panic attack feeling.

                You may need to have this organised beforehand though, as once i had to wait ages for them to find a doc to prescribe me some sleepers. And if the sleepers are gel coated, have it with a hot cup of tea or coffee as they work quicker.


                  I think the dye they use will also make you feel really hot like that. I always get red in the face and feel like I'm burning up for a few minutes after Ive had it. I think the nurse here said it was just a side effect of the iodine dye.

                  They had an open MRI somewhere I went before but I ended up using the regular one, I think because I couldn't drive my chair into the room it was in because of the open magnets and I'd have to wait for something else to transfer onto and then onto the MRI so I just did the regular.

                  I also get panic attacks but its more like hyperventalating, I just have to force myself to relax but its hard. MRIs are bad because you're just laying there, I try to go half awake so I can pass out in there a while or atleast its a little more comfortable.

                  [This message was edited by Cory on 11-25-04 at 11:36 PM.]


                    I've had a few of those. I used to be able to work heights. Hell I could be 200 feet off the ground on a 6 inch I beam all fricken day and I loved it. Never bothered me a bit. Thinking about it now bothers me. And when I dream about working heights I wake up sucking wind and sweating. Panic attack.


                      I am claustophobic so boy do I hear you MG! I ask the technician to please talk me through the test. Not the entire time just "this first segment will be 5 minutes and sets the magnet straight". Then the next is like "this segment will be 2 minutes." He'll ask once or twice if I need a break of daylight but I find that makes it worse. Close your eyes before you go in and keep them closed. Yea, that contrast dye can hit you hard with the heat and nasty taste in your mouth. I concentrate on breathing slowly.

                      When all else might not work..drugs or an open MRI. The newer open machines have wonderful clarity and the few places here that insist on their own closed machine are in it for the money only. I just remind them they are a not-for-profit hospital... And the newer the machine the faster the test goes. My last one was so quick I thought the tech didn't get all the views asked for by my doc. And a sedative or Flexeril to stop spasms might help and also konk you out. [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

                      Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
                      Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                      Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.




                          I feel for you MG, last week I had back to back exams and a 14 page scientific paper to do. Not as bad as yours though. Just do your best. Hey wilddog I was a union iron worker and thats how i became a crip. I would do it again if i could...
                          Sometimes the lights all shinin on me; Other times I can barely see. Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip its been: The Grateful Dead


                            Worst Experience in my life - MRI signal-bell did not work

                            So I went today for an MRI of the brain and eye area looking at the Pituitary gland for possible issues.
                            The tech did a good job of explaining and told me to squeeze the signal-bell if I needed to stop for any reason. He did not use the noise reducing headset as it was too tight and 15 minutes into it I needed a break. I squeezed the ball and nothing happened. I kept squeezing and realized that my heart rate and pulse were going crazy, so I just did my best to get through it. It was a horrible experience - the worst of my life. I yelled out whenever the machine would stop its loud noises but he did not hear me.
                            At the 30 minute end to the first session (before adding contrast) and asked him to let me up and I told him what had happened.
                            There was no way that I was going back in so I left at this point.
                            What I do not get is why they do not test the signal-bell every time. This seems like a simple procedural thing to do. I felt trapped and helpless.

                            I could not believe how terrible this was, and what is worst is that it could have been avoided if the tech had just ensured that the bell was working.


                              I just had a MRI of my cervical spine lastnight for severe neck pains and increased M.S. type symptoms that started right after my chiropractor adjust it (my neck)...pain mostly at T1 ...Anyway, I always have to cover my eyes with a cloth in case I open my eyes. I am claustrophobic but this and counting with the beats of the machine helps to keep my mind calm. I try to do "mind over matter things" sometimes I try to go back to the Carribbean or just going through the cruise ship floor by floor, room by room, even buffet by buffet in my mind. Lastnight it was really hard to concentrate...I felt like I was drowning. The vibrations of the MRI machine or magnetic pull seemed to make me salivate! You can't swallow or cough during a cervical MRI so I'm getting panicked because I kept feeling I would choke.

                              I've never had the heart pounding, sweating thing happen before during an MRI I'd be terrified!!! I sure feel for those that have!
                              "What has happened, has happened; What I am going through, I shall rise above; And what will come, I will meet with courage"~Hazrat Inayat Kahn