MRI mess

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MRI mess

Postby phyrehawke » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:08 pm

Hello friends,

I apparently need to vent very badly and I suppose this is the place for it. Most of my friends couldn't understand.
I had a very long MRI done yesterday. Brain, c-spine, t-spine, w/ and w/o contrast. Are all the Techs inconsiderate idiots these days? Somebody please tell me this is not a trend.
I thought yesterday that it was just the meds and when they wore off I would be less angry, but if anything I am more furious today than yesterday.
I've got claustraphobia and used a generous helping of gabapentin (w/ permission) rather than the usual valium. I also have had major trouble with my asthma lately but I'm better, and kept reminding myself to put my inhaler in my purse and I ended up forgetting it. I didn't think it would be a big problem because the asthma has been much better this past week. I didn't have any sign of asthma until a few minutes after they injected the contrast.

The Tech started off wrong when I said the mirror wouldn't do (she talked like that was the sure-cure for MRI claustraphobia...rofl...whatever) and I inisisted I needed a washcloth over my eyes, and she basically throws one on my forehead and sounds like she thinks I'm being fussy because I actually want it totally obscuring my vision. She totally doesn't get the whole "I need the illusion that I'm laying here without restriction so I don't panic" idea.
So they get me in the tube and I get most of the way through the MRI, they inject the contrast, put me back in, and about 5 minutes later I start choking with asthma. I'm stuck in a little tube, with my head braced down, dealing with the claustraphobia admirably...until I can't breathe without coughing, then I start to panic. So now I'm probably messing up the images too with every cough. I desperately needed to sit up and cough properly to try to get the mild asthma attack to possibly stop. I hit the button to get out and she says very sweetly "Just 4 more minutes! What is it?" I say I can't stop choking and I need a break right now. (Could she not hear me choking??) So she repeats "Just 4 more minutes!" That left me speechless. How utterly inconsiderate. I hope karma kicks her in the behind. So I coughed and choked my way through 4 more minutes of MRI. If it's messed up (and she assured me it wasn't, but I don't trust her...lesser things have ruined my MRI's before) I'm going to lay the blame squarely on her.
Anyway, she finally gets me out of the tube, but leaves me there on the table choking, with the brace over my head so I can't sit up, feeling like I'm drowning, and she just stands there and does and says nothing, until I can manage to catch my breath enough to hoarsely tell her "Get the d*mn brace OFF, NOW!". As soon as I could sit up it helped a little bit, and she was anxious to get the rest of the MRI finished before the contrast quit working. Pushy. Maybe she felt a little bad about it because afterwards she was telling me they almost never do this much MRI at once, but do half one day and half the next. I told her we do it all in one day because I have travel restrictions due to the SM. This is too far for me to go very often.
As much as I hate using the MRI facilities in my town...bad MRI's in the past, and poorly read...I will do it next time. If I'm going to have to deal with idiots at the facility I formerly liked 30 miles away, I might as well put up with the idiots I have in my own town, and send the films off to be read correctly.

Yep, I do feel a little better having vented.
I'm trying to make up my mind if I should cool off a little bit more before I call her supervisor to complain. I kinda think I should wait until we know if the choking messed up the MRI. Until I know, I'm going to worry we may have to do it over again. And if it does have to be redone because she wouldn't stop when I asked her to, I'm going to be 10 times more angry than I am right now.
Rozanne/phyre
"A path of awakening would never suggest that we should be a passive and unwitting spectator of our own repeated disasters, but should turn the power of our attention to untangle the web of complexity." Christina Feldman
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Re: MRI mess

Postby razzle » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:35 pm

welcome to the club , they all are getting that way and its the new young kids fresh out of school and they hurry you thru so they can get off early . Its sicking . I did file a griev once on one guy . If you feel you need to report them do it. R
Once you choose hope, anything's possible.

Roz( Razzle51 or Rosalyn
Iowa
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Re: MRI mess

Postby zipperhead2009 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:17 pm

So sorry that you had this experience. I too have had the same situation , which only makes me dread my MRI more, and makes it harder for me to deal with it. I would sware you and I go to the same Facility. Once again I'm so very sorry to hear that those of us with issues having MRI's are treated so badly.
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Re: MRI mess

Postby tennesseewalker » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:54 pm

I recently had the same experience with a bone scan. She feared she would get in trouble for taking so long with one patient. They are allowed X amount of time per scan; time is money I guess.
Mary
Genetic CM/SM (me, my son, my twin sister and both of her daughters), RSD of right arm.
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Re: MRI mess

Postby phyrehawke » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:02 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that this IS a trend. :(
I decided that I will wait to see if my choking messed up the images, since I always get my own copy. If they are messed up I'm going to make a big fuss to her supervisor, to the Scripps Board, AND to the facility that trains their MRI Techs, since they had that information posted on their website and they hire primarily from a single training facility. Writing the training facility seems to be the most effective way to get my concerns across, so future MRI Techs aren't as inconsiderate or ignorant as the present batch of students out there. I expect I'll write the training facility no matter what...and maybe all of us who have had problems w/ MRI Techs should think about doing that?

Thinking the situation over this morning (looking at it from a former-nurse perspective) I realize that this current system is pretty screwy, but it does make sense. My MRI was moved to the hospital for "protocol" reasons. I now realize that this is a diplomatic way of saying the *liability* is too high for it to be done in the clinic because the MRI Techs aren't educated enough to deal with a possible emergency. After all, in the hospital they have a full code cart and staff trained to use it. The MRI Techs can be inconsiderate and fast and if something goes horribly wrong (w/ contrast reaction, for example) they have a Code Cart w/ trained staff to fix things and then the hospital can bill extra for that too. They don't have to try to prevent problems. Taking time wastes money. It's a win-win for the ho$pital, but not for the patient. That is so wrong.
Oh, and it turned out I DID have my inhaler in my purse, but since no metal was allowed my purse was with my friend in the distant waiting room, and nobody bothered to tell her anything was wrong.

I have recommended a lot of people to go get their MRI's there because they were so nice and considerate in the past, and my doctor was also recommending particular patients go there because of my good experiences with them in the past, but that'll stop now.
Rozanne/phyre
"A path of awakening would never suggest that we should be a passive and unwitting spectator of our own repeated disasters, but should turn the power of our attention to untangle the web of complexity." Christina Feldman
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Re: MRI mess

Postby Astralane » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:52 pm

Dear Phyrehawke, I'm so sorry for what you went thru. Most techs and med staff dont live with chronic debilitating conditions like ours and I have found many to be uncaring and inconsiderate. Karma will return their favour. But that doesn't help you now. MRI'S are terribly claustrophobic and difficult to get thru ( I take a double dose of valium.... I know I can't do it otherwise)
The techs should be forced to have one before they can administer them. ( Ever seen "The Doctor" with William Hurt? )
I hope you are feeling better now , i'm thinking of and praying for you , I know you've helped many others on these boards.
Maybe cool off a little and then write some letters. Having worked in the medical field myself I know they can't ignore letters the way they can phone calls. Take care, and blessings to you, Astralane.
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Re: MRI mess

Postby wendi » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:19 am

It seems to me this is a trend as many people here are complaining about this very thing. It has been about 2 years since I had an MRI so I can't say how they are around here. I do know where TCI sent me, the Techs were great, but the office kind of stank. Hmmm, kind of like TCI where the docs are great and the office people stank. I do hope this is not what is going to happen everywhere because of the new crop of graduates. Anyone who has experiences like this should complain and nip it in the bud.

Wendi
ACM 7.5mm B4 TCS 2.4mm post op
TC ,TCS @ TCI on 1/3/08,
chronic sacrolitis
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Re: MRI mess

Postby judyg » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:29 am

I'm so sorry the tech was such a jerk. You would think that you having asthma would have made her react faster.

The facility I go to is attached to the hospital and has been good. I hope to stays that way. I'm don't have a problem with closed spaces but heights.......

I hope your complaint will help to make the facility better.
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Re: MRI mess

Postby smoovie0704 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:09 pm

Wendi, did TCI send you to their place, North Shore Imaging? Just curious, that is where I go. The techs are great but the office staff is rude and dismissive. Once I get through the doors (always at my appointment time), I exhale a sigh of relief. The techs are so nice and patient. They really know how to treat patients. The facility is state of the art, really clean and their waiting area is large enough that you don't have twenty other people breathing on top of you. I always leave with the CD in my hands too, so if I have another appointment in a day or two, there is no waiting.

Makes sense that TCI would send their patients there too since it is very close to their office and they can access it by computer as soon as you get off the table.
Complex Migraine w/o Aura
CM 9mm
Fibromyalgia
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Re: MRI mess

Postby wendi » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:43 pm

It might be the same place, but it is called Manhasset diagnostic. It is right down the street from TCI. I too walk right out with the CD, but have had to wait over an hour for it due to technical difficulities. Yes, the techs were great always asking if I need a break, am I comfortable, etc.

Wendi
ACM 7.5mm B4 TCS 2.4mm post op
TC ,TCS @ TCI on 1/3/08,
chronic sacrolitis
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Re: MRI mess/results

Postby phyrehawke » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:01 pm

I finally got the results of my MRI back. Syrinx is stable. GREAT!! Every radiology report is different though. My NL says it's still C2-T1 like it was in the first MRI, regardless of what the radiologists say. And many of the horizontal images are super grainy but the syrinx appears to be 1/4 to 1/3 cord width at the widest point, fairly stable that way. It meanders through my cord, and it's narrow at the top, so in fairness the length cannot all be seen in one vertical shot of my spinal cord. I have yet to hear the doc's opinion on whether the coughing made the films grainy or not, or the techs were just idiots, or if they expect this much of 6 MRI's to be fuzzy grainy vague images. I expect this sort of image from an Open MRI, not a closed one. But some of them are super crisp and clear.

The previous MRI hinted at a poorly imaged hemangioma. This one with contrast showed it up very well and my NL pointed it out. It is clearly in the vertebral bone. (Janice, if you are reading this, I hear you!)

It turns out my trouble/pain walking is not due to the syrinx (whew!), but probably due to a little Tarlov/arachnoid Cyst wrapped around and compressing the nerve at T11/12. We didn't do a sacral MRI (never have) but I suspect based on how I feel that there are probably bigger ones lower down, and I may not bother to find out. Maybe later, I dunno. There would be no point. My NL is convinced no surgeon is going to touch me because there is too much liability involved (so what would be the point except as an expensive additional arguement for disability?). Lately when they tell me that I feel like I've died already in that stupid accident, didn't notice, and I'm living in purgatory...no answers, no real solutions, no getting any life back, but we are here for you in your suffering, with a lifetime of anesthesia injections on hand for when the meds aren't enough. Can't make it better, can't move on, can't even make it stop, and this frikken sux. I'm tired of it, but I won't quit.
Disillusioned and frustrated and grumbling,
Rozanne/phyre
"A path of awakening would never suggest that we should be a passive and unwitting spectator of our own repeated disasters, but should turn the power of our attention to untangle the web of complexity." Christina Feldman
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Re: MRI mess

Postby karenb » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:45 pm

Rozanne,

I'm glad your results were stable - that is such good news! I hope the other scans turn out ok.

I guess this is a good lesson to us all - if you have even a touch of occasional asthma, bring your inhaler to your MRI!

Karen
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