When PET scans turn into surprise MRIs…

I’ve had PET Scans before, all good. They’re not a problem except that it’s always freezing. I had one today, so I went in and they injected me with the radioactive substance and I had to sit there for an hour without using my phone or doing anything really. I listened to an audio book.

After the time had passed, they took me in to the machine and I lay down. Then they started clipping me in and weighing me down by putting all these heavy cameras on my chest which I thought was weird, I’d never had that before. Then they wedged foam around my head so I couldn’t move it and clamped the cage over my face and I realised for some reason they were putting me back in the MRI machine.

I panicked. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe, I started burning up. Why did no one tell me this PET Scan was actually an MRI? I immediately started trying to break out but I was weighed down. Instead of letting me out, he told me that it was all fine because he had a little mirror he would strap on my head so i could see out through a tiny rectangle. He then held that in front of my face and i couldn’t move or breathe or see anymore either.

I was hyperventilating, tears streaming down my face, trying to get out, they did take the cage off my face but they wouldn’t let me up. Instead they put a straw in my water and told me to drink. I choked on it.

Eventually they let me out. ‘I didn’t know it was going to be an MRI’, I told them. PET Scans had never been in an MRI machine before, why was it suddenly now? ‘Oh it’s a PET-MR’ they said like that should mean something to me.

Then I stressed out even more because this was a scan I needed to get done and I didn’t know how I was going to do it. But as it turns out, I didn’t need the MR part of the scan. We went upstairs and they put me on the PET-CT machine that I had used the previous two times. Apparently that’s fine.

It took me a good 10 minutes to calm down after the MRI scare. And any time I thought about it during the day I had to try and hold back tears.

I know it sounds silly. I had a panic attack just from being near an MRI machine. But it really terrified me. I couldn’t take it. According to the guy, it happens to one in five people. That’s more than I would have expected. He then told me he had a moment in the machine once and it’s tight but nothing to worry about. Great, thanks. This machine was even worse too because the far end was up against a wall. Not that it makes any difference once you’re in there, but knowing you’re going head first into a pringles container is even more scary than going into a toilet roll.

Yes, I think we can confirm I have a problem with MRIs.

5 thoughts on “When PET scans turn into surprise MRIs…

  1. Jenny

    That’s a pity it was such a bad experience, and that they didn’t prepare you.
    I hope the PET scan gave the required info – from the minimal amount I have read, they are better.
    Maybe the PET scanner was overbooked since you had to make that late change of appt, due to not receiving info about no food and drink??

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    1. Yeah I would have thought someone would have mentioned it was a different kind of PET scan.
      I need both the PET and MRI but I already had the MRI on the weekend. it was fine to just have a PET-CT now from what I could gather. Like every other time.
      The scan would have been in the same machine on Monday.

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  2. Donna Congalton

    You need to go back to a Reiki session Jenna to have another relaxing lie down after that experience!! It does not suprise me you are starting to get freaked out from MRI especially if you have not had time to prepare or not aware. Having control of your treatment and illness is important and you have a right to know exactly what is going on and why. Hopefully next time you will know exactly what is happening so you can prepare for it. Sending you massives amount of love. Donna

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    1. Hahahaha I did actually think about booking in for a relaxation session!
      That is very true! I think things are just getting to me at the moment and I’m definitely not feeling in control. Interesting to see if this is an ongoing issue for me or if I get better with it once I’m feeling better! xx

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