How I handle scanxiety

Hi there and welcome back to my blog. How are you? I hope that you are well. Today I’m going to talk about the dreaded MRI scanxiety.

I know what’s is like to feel scared before, during and after the scan. After my second scan (because the first one was after the car accident) I was scared stiff. Why am I going back to the hospital? Why are they scanning my brain? What’s that noise in the machine? Why does my head hurt?

Theses were the questions that I was asking before/during/after my first head MRI, and still do after being in the clear for over two years.

So how do you control this? Here are some things that I do.

  • Deep breathing
  • Internal chanting
  • Relaxations techniques (EG: singing, dancing)

Deep breathing
I meditate quite a lot. For over a year, I’ve been using the Headspace app. At the start of all meditations, the guy on the app tells you to take a big breath in through your nose, and then breathe out through your mouth. You do this several times, then afterwards, you shut your eyes and bring your breathing pattern back to normal. I like to do this everyday as part of my meditation, but I like to do this before every MRI.

Internal chanting
Every time I go for a MRI, when I’m in the machine, because I’m a Hindu, I like to say “aum”. You can say whatever you want. Sometimes, I like to say “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” from the Finding Nemo/Dory films. It’s ok to mix it up between MRIs but I try to keep it the same when you are in the MRI.

Relaxing techniques (singing / dancing)
Now I know that you can’t sing and dance while in the MRI, but before and after, you are more than welcome to. As a man with two left feet full of lead, I struggle with grooving to the beat, but I still do. Why? Because it relaxes me. I don’t have the voice of an angel, but I still do it. Why? Because it relaxes me. I’m pretty sure that there are other ways to relax like baking, cooking, knitting, painting etc…

So that’s it, theses are my tips on how to get through another MRI. Once again, I just want to thank a few people. Firstly, I would like to thank my mum, dad, sister and my uncle, for being by my side, throughout everything. I would like to thank Louise from BTS for sharing this with the community. I would like to thank Kanika, Shirley and everyone at Carers Trust for giving me the confidence to sharing my story and I would like to thank Joe for motivating me to getting back on the horse. And I would like to thank everyone at the hospital, my family and friends and everyone who I’ve met on this journey.

Please feel free to leave a comment and if you buy something from Amazon through my blog, 100% of the money that I get goes to Brain Tumour Support.

Next time I’m going to talk about how I built my confidence.

Thanks and I will see you soon.