Thursday, November 1, 2012

Claustrophobia

"Doc, I was a Navy Seal. We trained in all kinds of stuff. I got crammed into the torpedo tubes of a submarine to land on enemy islands. I sat balled up in a fetal position for hours in the dark cargo hold of a bomber to parachute out. I fought in combat in 2 wars. But holy shit, I couldn't handle that MRI to save my life."

39 comments:

Mary said...

Amen! And, thank you, sir, for your service to our country.

Wendy said...

And what prescription helped with that?

Anonymous said...

Don't let MRI prospects read this.

MDaisy said...

Thank you for your service to our country. With the Navy SEALS on guard, I sleep well each night.

As to the rest: I'm stumped. What's so different from being crammed into a hold, in a fetal position and getting an MRI? I guess the buzzing and popping sounds topped off with the tube would make me feel creeped out too.

BTW I've never had an MRI done, but I watched as my kids had them done.

Anonymous said...

Funny... I've had an open MRI (twice) as well as a regular MRI. I found that the open MRI gave me near panic attacks because it played right to one of my major phobias of "under things/crushed by things" (yeah, it's completely irrational, I know, but I've been that way since childhood). The regular MRI I had was a piece of cake compared to the edge-of-panic-attack feeling of an open MRI. I told my husband to make a note: No more open MRIs for me, ever.

To each his (or her) own!

Anonymous said...

Makes me feel better. I'm not particularly claustrophobic and wasn't concerned about the MRI I had done many years ago. Nothing touches you during the MRI. Yes, it was loud, but I've heard loud. Still, it was downright awful. I cannot explain this and I'm sure not everyone feels that way, but it totally freaked me out.

Anonymous said...

I think it's the difference between; "If I screw this up I let all my buddies down" as opposed to "If I screw this up I let myself down"

Erin @ Sassin' Southern Style said...

My dad is the exact same way. He's crawled inside airplane spaces and spent most of his time working inside the wing, but that man cannot handle any normal spaces smaller than a walk-in closet.

skidmark said...

There are meds for that. And thank $diety there are. (No more MRIs for me 'cause of all the machinery inside. There are times when I consider it an up-side.)

BTW - SEALS are merely Marines with a good PR firm. :P

stay safe.

Anonymous said...

PTSD would be a viable explanation. Not the debilitating kind where its difficult to function on a daily basis but the kind where similar situations trigger repressed feelings, emotions, anxieties, etc.

Stacey Gordon said...

The noises in the MR are unnerving. I thought someone was shooting at me.

I think for a Navy Seal, Control is also an issue. They know what the mission is, and what their role is and they are ready for ACTION.

Laying in an MR and having to be INACTIVE is not intuitive.
Just a few thoughts.

RehabRN said...

Grumpy:

I have my own veteran at home with the same story.

BTW one of our patients who needed an MRI (also a Vet) had to get 10mg of Valium before he had his done.

We tried, just 5mg, but the techs couldn't do it, because he moved around too much. He was a big guy and why they didn't listen to him when he told them he needed 10mg (was on a regular dose anyway) I have no idea.

One wasted ambulance trip, one p'o
d tech and a crabby doc.

Better luck next time...

OldSquid said...

When I was in the Navy I was a corpsman (medic) on the flag ship for the 6th Fleet. Part of the Admrial's Staff was a LCDR (O-4) SEAL. Every time we were about to get underway he would come and get seasick pills. Always wanted to ask him how he made it through BUD's (basic underwater demolishion) and SEAL training if het gets motion sickness. Like most SEALs I came across, on of this nicests guys you'll ever meet.

Unknown said...

There's something even worse: a ct :) http://youtu.be/2CWpZKuy-NE I'm not sure I would go inside one of these.

Library-Gryffon said...

I had an MRI of my shoulder and it wasn't fun. At least I knew what was going on, and why, and how long it was going to take, having had my knee and wrist done previously. But it took a lot of will power not to run screaming or lie there gibbering. When I had to get a head MRI as part of the migraine work up a few years later, I thought to bring a washcloth and covered my eyes before we started and it wasn't at all an issue.

Anonymous said...

Last week's MRI was only uncomfortable because of the immobile toothpaste tube position I had been squeezed into. There was this twitch in my shoulder that I couldn't work out despite how well I'd trained my muscles to contort. The noise was loud. It was like choosing to stand next to a jackhammer.

The visual effect was easily encountered by closing my eyes or the handy provided eyeshade.

One MRI I encountered up close and personal had a variety of music tuned in. The technician told me I had my choice of selections to listen. Relishing an opportunity to listen to something my kids say are the latest rage, I bypassed the Mountain King, The Ninth, and Tchaiko's 1812, focusing on an attempt to remember the word 'J-Pop'. They had it, and I welcomed the chance to listen a particular genre I'd not been familiar in surround-sound. I don't think I'll be attending a concert any time soon. I am willing to undergo another experience only if I can hear Lark Ascending starting at dialable decibel range.

Anonymous said...

I am not claustrophobic and I anticipated no problem with the first MRI I had. I wondered why they kept telling me to keep my eyes closed. Of course, I didn't. The problem with the MRI is that the tube is just a couple of inches from the end of your nose. The rolled me in and I opened my eyes and shouted and pressed the button to be let out. Once I calmed down, the tech said, I told you to keep your eyes closed. It's the proximity of the top of the tube to your face that is so disconcerting. Now that I have had several, I am fine with it. Tricia

cloudsofbeth said...

I fell asleep during one of my MRIs. I found it relaxing.

Anonymous said...

Damb drug seekers will say anything to scam some benzos (of course I am kidding)

Loren Pechtel said...

There's something about MRI tubes. My wife normally isn't claustrophobic but her first encounter with an MRI she couldn't take it when the machine rolled her inside.

At least for her my holding her hand was enough.

Ivan Ilyich said...

The trick is to have your eyes covered.

Anonymous said...

Stacey Gordon has it I think ... It's one thing to be doing something hardcore that's mission critical & where you've got control- it's another to be helpless in a loud tube.

That said, I don't particularly mind the MRI - I was a control for a friend's neuro-imaging study that required repeated MRIs. Keeping your eyes closed really, really helps. And focusing on being still gives you something to do, and makes you very popular with the neuroradiology crowd- no artifact!

Anonymous said...

SEALs & Bubble Heads are a people all to themselves-14 yrs as a Navy Corpsman and I still dont understand them

C said...

the MRI noise is insanity-producing and covering it with too LOUD music does not help. ear plugs.

wannabe said...

could bring flashbacks and PTsD symptoms

Anonymous said...

I fell asleep during my last one. Tech woke me up.

Crazy RxMan said...

Wedding rings are like that too. (I'm kidding, Moose).

Ms. Donna said...

I have had many MRIs. The previous posters are right. The RAT-A-
TAT and the "ERRRRRRRRRRRR" and other unfamiliar noises are disconcerting. And loud. If you take headphones in (not a good idea if they are trying to look at the alleged gray matter) the headphones have to be at volume 14+++ to be heard over the racket.

Closing your eyes does help, but then the tech, who has a camera on your face (probably to see the faces you are making) calls you to make sure you are all right.

I have military members in the family, and one Marine I know came out of the MRI gray and sweating. It is hard to break training, which is to get away and then kill or disable whatever is making that noise, as it HAS to be destructive.

Dr. Yak, please give my thanks to your Pt. We all get to do whatever (even this blog) because men and women in our armed forces are on watch.

Dan said...

Which Bond film was it where 007 was fed into a creamatory and had to escape? Anyhow, that's the type of tight, confined space I imagine when I think of an MRI.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

"Diamonds are Forever"

Anonymous said...

Ha,ha,ha. Imagining droplets of milk plopping from the toes of Agent 007.

Aeris said...

I really love the noise the MRI makes. I understand how it can be disconcerting, but I've spent so much time around those things, it's almost a nostalgic feeling. Also I try to figure out what each noise means and what the machine is doing (it helps when you know how it works).

But I gotta say, when they tell you to keep your eyes closed, it's a really good idea to keep your eyes closed. I'm not claustrophobic (I'm so glad autocorrect got that word within three letters!!), but I freaked out when the table was pushed in. I had to be taken out and explained again to keep my eyes closed.

I can't imagine doing this with back or neck pain. It must be horrible to lie there for 30 minutes with nothing to think about except how uncomfortable you are.

RehabRN said...

"SEALs & Bubble Heads are a people all to themselves-14 yrs as a Navy Corpsman and I still dont understand them"

I have been married to one for years (known 22 yrs total) and I'm STILL learning...

It really does take a different kind of person to work on a sub.

But, as my husband's coworkers tell me, when sh%t happens, they want him around, 'cause he can scram the reactor like no one's business.

And that, my friends, will keep you alive in a pinch (as a couple of his coworkers can attest).

No degree is anything like Uncle Sam's nuclear safety training.

Anonymous said...

Ok, call me weird, but I'm a bit claustrophobic, but I've also jumped out of aircraft, some holding 40+ jumpers and fallen asleep while riding to altitude. Never been a torpedo though (except in project planning meetings).

I've had one MRI of the 'closed' variety. Wore earplugs, fell asleep. What's the big deal?

CholeraJoe said...

Guess I'm not claustrophobic at all. Didn't panic during my MRI or during the waterboarding I had during SERE training. Gunfire doesn't disturb me either.

Kat79 said...

I'm not normally claustrophobic either but the closed mri freaked me out and so on my second I did the open one and like a previous poster said I kept picturing it collapsing on me. I also have a habit of watching to many horror/ Armageddon films because all I can think is what if the people in the room are suddenly gone(in whatever way) and I'm pinned down in this stupid machine. I think it all boils down to the human fear of loss of control.

Anonymous said...

I got through a three hour MRI in the tube with a horrible Hannibal Lecter like mask on my face without any meds because I wanted the stupid diagnosis, (already knowing that it would be bad).

Last year had yet another one that lasted three hours and popped three Ativans to get through it. They told me I was moving too mauch, well those conked me right out. Should have stopped at two, but never again, ever without heavy drugs.

Anonymous said...

My husband is ex navy with PSTD, he can handle confined spaces but the noise of the MRI is too much like battle.

Tracey said...

I had an MRI of my head a couple of years ago and I can say that it was one of the worst experiences in my life. A cage was placed over my face and locked down. NEVER again in my life. Even thinking of having it done again gives me heart palpitations.

 
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