How I overcame my fear of MRI scanners

Published on 15 February 2024 at 16:00

With my scan coming up on Friday it seemed a good time to go over how I cured my fear of MRI's.

With me, my fear wasn't the noise, it was the enclosed nature of the tube. After having had failed scans in the past, it came a time that I needed a brain scan; these can't be done in an open scanner, so finding new ways to handle it was needed.

I was very lucky that I'd looked on closed social media groups to get some advice, the help was fantastic and really did push me in the right direction.

First thing that I'd said to myself was; when I walked in to the scanning room was to, put my head inside the scanner and kind of, introduce myself and mentally tell the scanner that this was very important as well as to look for anything inside that I'd be able to hurt myself on... it is completely smooth inside, that made me see it was safe,

The second thing was to hand the scan team a CD of music that I wanted to listen to, they happily agreed and gave me some big headphones.

Once inside the scanner nerves started to kick in a bit, until one of the team went to the back of the scanner and touched the top of my head. That helped me to see, as much as the tube seems long, it actually isn't, if someone can touch me then it can't be that long.

The final thing that really did take my fear away was, during each scan I'd under count the time it took; if the team said it was a 4 minute scan, each of my seconds would be counted much slower. If effect a 4 min scan, in my mind was taking 3 minutes tops, that kind of convinced my brain that I wouldn't be in the scanner as long as expected. 

Between all of this things, it did help me get through each scan. Now with the thought of this upcoming visit Friday, fear isn't with me and actually I'm looking forward to it.    

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