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Thread: Panic Attack?

  1. #1

    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.

    I have to do this.. any tips?

  2. #2
    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

  3. #3
    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.

  4. #4
    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 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


  5. #5

    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.


  6. #6
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Portland, Oregon
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hunker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    In a wheelchair
    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,

  8. #8
    Senior Member Annabanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    way up north, Australia
    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.

  9. #9
    Member Cory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    fort worth, tx
    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.]

  10. #10
    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.

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