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Scary mri

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DragnHeart posted 12/14/2019 07:49 AM

Hi everyone. I'm back online but sparingly.

Finally had the MRI of my shoulder and despite believing I had had one before I'm now convinced it was a CT scan and not an mri. That machine is tight.

I've always been ok in elevators and small spaces but I was not ok in that machine. I find I panic when faced with being unable to "get out" of a small space.

For example I can be inside the poultry shed and not panic....however if the door locks and I cant get out....oh panic city. Had it happen once.

So having my shoulder pinned in a clamp like thing and my arm weighted down and headphones on (cause it's really really loud) wasnt fun. The machine has this loud rhythmic thumping even before it is scanning and I focused on that while keeping my eyes closed. 20 minutes felt like hours!!!

I told the tech that I was surprised.i didn't hit the panic thing he gave me and I actually made it through because I was totally a mess. He said I was great, he got clear images but....IF my doctor requests a NECK MRI...theres a thing that goes around my neck and I may not handle that so...he suggested sedation and hell ya....I'm going for that. Does this make me a whimp?

The shoulder pain has become arm, hand, neck and head pain too. Its constant.

I've been on Tylenol 3's for a month. And with codeine comes constipation even while taking stool softeners so after my 8pm mri I headed to the ER to see if they could give me a pain med that had a lesser chance of backing me up.

It was a busy night in the ER. I got registered at 8:40pm and was seen at 1:30am. Doc took one look and asked if I had been x rayed for a break. Said I was swollen and definitely in muscle spasm.

She took a look at the MRI to see if there were any obvious breaks (I got a peek too). She didn't see anything but said the radiologist will check.
(Its been 8 weeks, would a fracture have healed by now?)
In the mean time she gave me anti inflammatory, muscle relaxant and morphine prescriptions. She also told the nurse to get me a dose of each plus a laxative to take when I got home. Then another set for when I got up. I was instructed to take the morphine if I couldn't get to sleep after an hour. I didn't end up taking it but by the time I got home wh was about to get up for work so I stayed up. I did go back to bed after he left and after I got the kids off to school. Not sure if it was the muscle relaxant or just lack of sleep but I slept until 1pm. Felt stoned when I got up.

I got my prescriptions filled last night and took what I was supposed to before going to bed. I feel groggy this morning but not that same stoned cant stand up straight feeling. I hurt. Just holding the phone in my hand and typing is hard to do. Driving isn't fun. Pretty much everything is hard to do right now.

My family doctor will have the MRI results next week and we will go from there however being so close to Christmas I doubt anything will be done before the New Year.

I'm feeling anxious about the "IF your doctor requests a neck MRI" statement. I know not to put the cart before the horse thing but going back in that machine even with sedation freaks me out more than the possibility of shoulder surgery.

edited for spelling

[This message edited by DragnHeart at 8:39 AM, December 14th (Saturday)]

thebighurt posted 12/14/2019 09:06 AM

I'm so sorry, Dragn. You certainly continue to have some trials lately. I hope you can get something done to fix it soon. I know I can't deal with the side effects of just some of the pills you are on at all and wouldn't want to do that for long.

Two of the people I know who had shoulder injuries over the past few years (it seemed to be an epidemic at one point) were told that the MRI or surgery revealed that the bicep was also involved. From the pain you describe, it sounds like you may have that, too? One, in particular, said she couldn't sleep because of the pain before it got to the surgery. But she wasn't on the kind of pain killers you are. But maybe yours can be fixed without surgery.

Mojo and gentle hugs.

betsy62 posted 12/14/2019 11:14 AM

You are not a wimp. I hit the "oh shit" button within 5 minutes of being in that damn machine.
I am claustrophobic. I knew that going in. I thought I could do it....nope!! And, I was not going back in!!
I was able to do what they called an open sided MRI. It was great. It was a big round table. The top came down on top of me, but there were no barriers on the sides. I could have slid right out if I had needed to.
Another thing that helped was putting a small towel over my eyes. I know that seems weird, but it helped. If I opened my eyes, I saw the towel, and not the machine inches from my face.
Mine was also a shoulder issue. It was a torn rotor cuff. That I let go untreated way too long.
I ended up having surgery. Which helped greatly.
Just go slow. Be gentle on your shoulder.
I hope you get relief soon.

[This message edited by betsy62 at 11:17 AM, December 14th (Saturday)]

DragnHeart posted 12/14/2019 12:35 PM

The week before I went to the walk in urgent care clinic I had a near miss driving into town. Truck pulled out in front of me and I swerved hard to avoid. My left arm hit the van door and the pain there has been constant since.

Thanks for saying I'm not a wimp. I feel so bad that IF I need another one I will want sedation which means someone has to drive me. Wh said he would but that means he takes time off work and we need to find someone to watch the kids if they arent in school.

The urgent care doc didn't feel around my shoulder. The ER doc did! And she ran her fingers along my collar bone, hitting one spot that made me jump. I fractured that collar bone when in preschool...gotta wonder if I aggravated it.

I also now have the constant head pain and pain up the left side of my neck. And to top it off an almost constant twitch of my lower left eye lid.

betsy62: can you tell me more about the surgery? How large an incision? Laparoscopic?

tushnurse posted 12/14/2019 12:51 PM

Stop fretting. Quit planning what may or may not be.
Unless there is something totally broken or a full tear surgery isn't the first option.

Now let's revisit something that you have glanced over. Your shoulder was in spasm and givenuscle relaxants for it. This is key in managing the pain and getting some mobility back. Anti inflammatories with it may eliminate the need for pain meds altogether. Pain meds are just masking whatever the underlying issue is.
Ask for physical therapy to help manage the pain spasm and mobility.
Use ice and heat as well to help manage your pain.

DragnHeart posted 12/14/2019 13:02 PM

HEY Tush!!!

I had severe fear of hospitals when I was younger. Up until my first c section I was terrified. Wh recalls how I was so scared to have a c section then was happy when the next two pregnancies ended with them. Lol

Now I'm not so scared. But I still have moments of anxiety, not about surgery but that MRI machine. Being held down really sent me for a loop.

I can move the arm and shoulder. I just have a burning stabbing pain from the back to the front, top to my arm pit and from the outside of my arm going into my shoulder. Like someone is playing with hot pokers in three spots. Heat helps alot. A hot shower is both relieving but also painful when the water hits my skin. Wh cant touch me without me jumping.

I'm doing my best to limit pain med intake. Mainly just at night so I can sleep. Even the morphine will cause constipation and wow that's just awful to deal with.

Cooley2here posted 12/14/2019 13:58 PM

I had intense pain until I had rotator cuff surgery. The orthopedist told me to sleep in a recliner and that relieved the pain immediately. I have never gone back to sleeping in the bed even though my shoulder is completely healed. Try that.

You most definitely had an MRI and a CTscan because you never forget MRIs. I cannot have a closed one. Iíve had two and both were open even though the doctor said they could not get as clear a picture. I get claustrophobia in a locked building so you can imagine what I was like trying to go into that enclosed machine. The tech saw I was so panicky that she stopped it immediately and moved me to the open machine. I think I wouldíve been taken out screaming and shouting if they have made me stay in there.

Cooley2here posted 12/14/2019 13:58 PM


[This message edited by Cooley2here at 1:59 PM, December 14th (Saturday)]

DragnHeart posted 12/14/2019 14:49 PM

I've tried sleeping in our sofa chair. Wasnt comfortable. I dont have a recliner.

My CT scan was years ago when my family doc at the time wanted to see about my migraines. I had the dye too and wasnt told I'd need an IV. My blood pressure was so high I bled all over the floor when the nurse tried to get the needle in. And I had my arms over my head while in the machine. Couldn't do that in the MRI one of I wanted to lol

I have to take the muscle relaxant three times per day. Took that and ended up taking a morphine pill because the pain was getting to much. Even now I still hurt. WTH!?! Cant stand a bra strap so I'm all booby commando. Lol. Luckily its nasty out so I am holding off on the Christmas shopping that i was planning to do. Good thing because I dont think I can drive.

I wish the laxatives would at least work...

Adlham posted 12/14/2019 14:53 PM

Oh DragnHeart, I'm so sorry!

I have claustrophobia if I can't escape so I know how you feel. My chest aches for a few hours after an MRI because I am panicking the entire time and I can't ask for any benzos because I'm driving myself.

I have found that a cold l, damp wash cloth over my eyes helps tremendously! I don't know why, but it was suggested to me by the techs a few MRI's ago and while it didn't completely alleviate my panic, my chest didn't ache near as much afterwards!

It apparently helps a lot of people who are in the same boat so maybe give it a try if you have to get another MRI!

allusions posted 12/14/2019 17:01 PM

I just keep my eyes closed the whole time when I get an MRI or CT scan. Then I "go into the zone" and fully relax my body and mind. If my eyes are closed my brain doesn't know if I'm in a tube or floating in a pool, or lying on a beach. If I opened my eyes and saw I was inside a narrow tube I might react to it but I just keep my eyes shut as soon as I lie down.

DragnHeart posted 12/14/2019 17:07 PM

I guess sedation wasnt an option?

I was told they could do that for me next time.

I took the muscle relaxant and now I'm feeling woozy and nauseous.

DragnHeart posted 12/14/2019 17:12 PM

I think if I had closed my eyes before I went in I would have been ok.

The closed space was bad but being clamped and weighted down was just to much.

Darkness Falls posted 12/14/2019 18:03 PM

Iíve had 6 brain and cervical spine MRIs in the past several years....tight fit in there.

DragnHeart posted 12/14/2019 18:12 PM

DarknessFalls did you have any anxiety when you had them?

Omg these meds are kicking my butt tonight.

Darkness Falls posted 12/14/2019 18:15 PM

None at all. I consider myself fortunate to not be claustrophobic, seeing as Iíll need them for life.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 6:15 PM, December 14th (Saturday)]

DragnHeart posted 12/14/2019 18:25 PM

That's awesome. I wish I could say the same. Lol

I was shocked how was even with the headphones on. But I rather enjoyed the rhythmic thumping it made. Was all that kept me from.freaking out lol

nightowl1975 posted 12/14/2019 19:25 PM

My youngest was 10 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her first MRI was rough. The second was much worse. The third was 8 hours after brain surgery and by far the worst of all of them.

Sheís had 11 total in 2 years since diagnosis and sleeps through them at this point. Sheís never had sedation, but I did consider it for the second and fourth (I was clueless for the first one, and it wasnít an option for the immediate post-op scan). She hates having her head restrained in the helmet thing, and she didnít like the noise at first. It helps her immensely to close her eyes immediately when she lies down and she doesnít open them until itís over. She also likes me sitting near her with my hands on her legs so she knows Iím there.

Honestly, I think itís something you just get used to if you have no other choice. Itís no fun, for sure.

DragnHeart posted 12/15/2019 07:24 AM


I'm so sorry. How is she doing now?

That's just awful. She is such a trooper to go through all of that.

Closing my eyes before going into the tube will help I'm sure. But I may just cave and ask to be sedated if I can be.

sisoon posted 12/15/2019 14:18 PM

I'm sorry you're going through this. I've gone through some shoulder pain (and replacement), and I have lots of trouble with MRIs.

A lot of xanax let me sail right through the MRI. Of course, I needed someone to drive me home, and I slept a lot that afternoon....

Don't be afraid to use the panic button. I hope you can do the sedation if another confining MRI.

And I hope your shoulder and neck stop hurting.

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