My MRI scan today

So I had my MRI scan today on my lumber spine and sacreal region. This was on my 'good' leg which has been causing numbness for 5 months.  I arrived at the waiting room with hubby and went straight in or should I say out!  I was taken through a door into the car park to a mobile unit which had the scanner in. I explained to the nurse that I hadn't had an MRI before and was petrified. Fought back the tears as I was saying this. I also explained that I was deaf and wore in the ear hearing aids but didn't have them in as I was told not to wear them and asked her to speak up because I was having difficulty hearing her. She muttered something but what I'll never know.

There was no reassurance at all.  I told her I'd brought my own CD of Elvis greatest hits and could I play this rather than their music and she just gave me a funny look and said I would have headphones on.  We went through to the scanner and she gave me some ear plugs so I said I would prefer headphones as I don't have much luck with ear plugs as they always fall out. She explained that I would have ear plugs and headphones on too. I was a bit puzzled and asked how I would hear the music.  "There is no music" she said. The headphones were to keep the ear plugs in. I asked for a blindfold which I got. She said a couple of sentences which I couldn't hear (obviously being deaf and two lots of ear defenders in!) so I said if she wanted to talk to me, I would have to take everything out. At this point she left the room. Then a voice came over the headphones saying something I couldn't hear again! Which bit of I'm deaf don't these people understand!  I asked him to speak up as I couldn't hear. I didn't hear the reply but there wasn't any more talking noise so I waited...

The machine started and I got a bit panicky but I couldn't see anything so thought what's the point. I can't see anything, can't hardly hear anything so nothing to be scared of. It sounded very much like I was inside my washing machine.  After a bit, I thought I would start going through my timestables from start to finish and then try to do them backwards.  Before I knew it I was being pulled out and all done.  So not as bad as I thought - results in 4-6 weeks though! More waiting...


Well done, another little milestone passed. Good idea to use the blindfold. I close my eyes but never thought to have a blindfold.

What a long wait. Our NHS needs a big adjustment.


Congratulations on getting through the MRI scan. ??


You did loads better than me.

I'm sorry that the staff were so unhelpful and dismissive.  Like you I always thought they played music through the headphones.  Maybe if they did it wouldn't be such an awful procedure. 

Fingers crossed that you get an explanation of why you're experiencing this numbness. ??

Thanks Kay. I'd read up about them beforehand and it seemed to be common practice for music to be played through headphones and that at some hospitals you could take your own music. Having said that, we are talking about my local NHS Trust so I should have known better!  They used to have an MRI machine a few years ago as I took my Mum-in-Law for one there but I suppose like our A & E Dept, it has now gone -  hence the mobile unit on hire from a private company. 

Hi Colin. I don't know about an adjustment.  Ours just needs scrapping and starting again!  The scanner was a mobile unit on hire from a private company so maybe that's why there is such a long wait - who knows.  I can't take credit for the blindfold idea or going through my timetables as this was a tip I got off the internet from people who were scared of the 'claustrophobic' aspect of the scan.  I'd actually bought a blindfold myself just in case they didn't have any but luckily they did have disposable ones available. I had to ask though as I wasn't offered one.  I knew that if I didn't wear one, curiosity would get the better of me once inside and then I would definitely freak out if I opened my eyes! crying

Hello Onwards and upwards,

What a rotten way to treat people. Let’s hope your results are very positive and you don’t have to endure such treatment again. John suggested It might be useful to drop a line to the department in a positive way explaining your difficulties with staff not understanding deafness.....

Take care,


I'm used to it to be honest Veronica.  One thing which I thought was a bit stupid though was the number of steel steps to get into the mobile unit - anyone with walking sticks or disabled would not have been able to go in.  None of this was mentioned in the letter.  Maybe there was another entrance for this but didn't seen one.

I am marginally claustrophobic, so not a massive issue for me. I have been in three MRi units and they all differ. The NHS ones were better organized than the posh private ones. I did peek in the first machine. It was fine. Nicely placed mirrors meanyt i looke out rather than in. The most recent (for stroke) was ancient and very very noisy. I shut my eyes for this lengthy scan. They took a long time to find my brain.

That old one has been replaced with two modern units and I would love to see them. I dont think you are in any way enclosed. but no one can confirm that.


Hi Colin...well done for overcoming your apprehensions ...hopefully,now you have experienced a few MRI's it will help with your mild claustrophobia... Personally, I will soon be a participant in a clinical trial that will require me to lie in a functional MRI so researchers can see activity in my brain while I do movement starts soon...

I have read your many posts on here...I have found them very thankyou...

How very interesting, a clinical trial. Do share anything that you think is useful. And thank you for your kind comments.



...yeah... I've been volunteering from the get-go in 2011...8 years on and still doing them...tommorow am involved in Trunk study at Southampton's a 3 sessions a week for 6 weeks...they cover me with movement sensors...wire me up to computer games where I can only control the avatars by moving affected and unaffected core, hips, pelvis, lower back and a 2 hour session and 85 mile round's tough but so worthwhile...yeah I have found many of the regular posters here of great comfort as you have all echoed my sentiments about this chronic stroke condition we bear...still never mind Inever stop chasing recovery and I have set the bar on the high side coz I believe...' nothing to broken to find a way back'...

Guys such as you who do medical research are much appreciated. Especially for the cinderella ailment of stroke.

Forgive me for mymemory, or lack of it, but when did the stroke bite you ?

Hope all goes well at Soton. Its a mass of students. Amazing. I enjoyed visiting my son there. I traced the long forgotten railways. Admired the big boats. The airpklane museum was just yards from his uni flat. He loved going to the uni.