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MRI for Diagnostics

By Prairie Anonymous

Why you would be having an MRI?

During the D&C for my 2nd miscarriage the doctor noted that I have a uterine septum. My new doctor booked me an appointment to have Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of my uterus to get a better look at the septum. Please not this is my description of my Canadian experience.

What to expect

Upon arrival, I filled out a long list of yes/no questions relating to my health history. I had a couple of follow up conversations with the nurse resulting from my answers.

My jacket, valuables, etc were put into a locker. Other patients who attended the appointment with a support person left their jacket and valuables with that person in the waiting room.

I was then asked to change into hospital pants because my jeans had a zipper, but was allowed to keep my cotton shirt on, with bra removed. They told me that if you want to wear your own clothes, you can usually do so, just make sure your clothes do not contain any metal. You need to remove all metal jewelry, so do yourself a favour and leave everything metal at home.

I am not claustrophobic and I was not sedated. I saw other patients who were quite anxious, a normal reaction, and they were receiving intravenous sedation.

When it was my turn, I was taken to the procedure room, strapped into the machine with something over my abdomen. An emergency call button was placed in my hand and I was instructed to squeeze it to stop the procedure at any point. The technician explained that I would be there for about 30 mins and they would be in the room next door and would be providing me instructions through a speaker set up. I was then given hearing protection headphones and I was moved horizontally into the MRI. Both ends of the machine were open and I was able to kind of see the room’s light and some of the space around me.

During the MRI I was instructed to remain very still. Throughout the process there was rhythmic thumping that stopped and started. During the breathing exercises I was told to breath in, breath out, take a short breath in and hold it for about 20 seconds. The technician would instruct me when I could continue to breath normally. The instructions to do this were clearly explained to me through by the technician through the sound system.

As for the MRI itself, I actually enjoyed it. I found the machine & experience relaxing (sort of like acupuncture or tanning beds). I feel like I almost slept for most of it. It was very zen. I know this is probably not the typical experience, but it was how I experienced it.

After about 20 minutes they interrupted my session and the technician and a nurse came into the room. The tech informed me that he had showed my scans/images to a doctor who recommended they use an injectable dye to get a better picture. This was recommended to prevent a second visit and procedure with the injection. The nurse found my best vein, inserted an iv and injected some red stuff and sent me back into the machine for another round of scans.

At the conclusion I was informed that my doctor will have the results in 5-10 days.

My discharge was uneventful. I was taken back to where my clothes were, I changed, collected my valuables and jacket from the locker and I left. I was there for about 90 mins. If I had been sedated I would have required someone to drive for me after the procedure.

Personal tips

One little recommendation. During the MRI you can see your feet. I was wearing a pair of socks that were a gift and it was strangely comforting. I recommend asking your partner, husband or a good friend to go out and buy you a special pair of socks for the MRI. It will keep you connected to them through the procedure and give you something positive to focus on.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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