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Next Call: August 3, 2017 from 1:30 – 2:30pm EST; Evening Call is August 10 from 7 – 8pm EST
Topic: Tips to Get Through Medical Tests
Janet Fox will be the moderator for the August 3 call. Janet currently co-leads the Rockville, Maryland Pain Support Group. She has been active in this group for several years and received leadership training thru the US Pain Foundation’s program.
September is Pain Awareness month:
Janet’s MRI Survival Guide
After getting a test order from my doctor, also ask for a prescription for anti-anxiety medication, if needed.
Enlist a trusted companion to go with me, help fill out forms, accompany me in the MRI scan room, make jokes, and bring me home.
Schedule the MRI appointment for first in the morning. Make sure my companion can also go.
When scheduling, ask about insurance issues, as MRI needs pre-authorization.
Ask the MRI facility if music is allowed and if yes, what devices will work with the machine.
Night before the MRI:
Stay up really late the night before, to be really sleepy and maybe able to doze during the scan.
Put my paperwork, meds, ear plugs, ice pack, chapstick, etc. in my bag to be ready to go.
Morning of the MRI:
Wear comfy clothes to easily change into a hospital gown before the test. Metal can’t go into the scanner and will need to also go into the dressing room locker during the test.
Don’t drink coffee or other drinks that will make me need to pee during the MRI.
Since I need to be very still inside the MRI and it makes loud licks and clanks, agree on a code with my companion, like toe wiggles, to let him know I need a quick check while in the scanner.
Fill out the forms; make sure the radiologist tech knows I am claustrophobic.
Use the cold pack, if needed, to calm down my painful nerve.
Getting set to go into the MRI:
Ask the tech how long the scan will last. Ask her/him to check in every few minutes between segments to let me know how it’s going and how long the next segment will be.
Inform the tech that I get claustrophobic. Ask her/him how to get out of the MRI head helmet, in case an earthquake, alien invasion or disaster kills everyone else, so that I can get out. Laugh.
Ask the tech to put the mirror on the head helmet, so I can see out of the tube to the tech and to my companion.
Ask the tech to cover me up and turn on the fan, so air circulates in the MRI tube while I’m in it.
The tech will give me a little ball to squeeze to let her/him know I need to talk to her/him.
Once inside, double-check that the mirror works and I can see outside of the tube to my companion, standing at my feet.
Breathe and relax. Meditate or think of somewhere peaceful where I like to go. Remember to be still.
When I’m finished, thank my tech and my companion… I survived the MRI!
After I get home, add new tips to this list for next time!
Remember, the MRI is an amazing machine that can show what’s going on inside my body. More info: http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/video-mri.html and http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/mri.html?ref=search
Here are a few links, specific to MRIs:
We will discuss ways people have found to help them get through different kinds of medical tests, like MRIs. We will conclude with a short meditation.
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In the calls, the leader often refers to a book written about pain management. This book, Making the Invisible Visible, has valuable information for peopl e with chronic pain, their families and providers. It is an excellent resource for how to navigate the challenges of chronic pain. Order Making the Invisible Visible for $25 plus shipping.
The Pain Connection Live Conference Call is led by Gwenn Herman, LCSW-C (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and Founder and Executive Director of Pain Connection, a US Pain Foundation program.
Each Call will have a topic dealing with different ways of coping with chronic pain and developing new skills. Participants have the option to discuss the topic or remain silent. Breathing techniques and guided imagery will be taught in the last 15 minutes of each call.
Pain Connection Live is open to people with chronic pain, family members, significant others, health care professionals and concerned individuals. Please respect each person’s right to express their feelings.
Afternoon calls are held on the first Thursday of the month from 1:30 – 2:30 PM EST.
Evening calls are held on the second Thursday of the month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM EST.
For more information, email email@example.com or call 800-910-2462.