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A new low, and I don't mean weight

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Old 08-01-2009, 10:47 PM   #1
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Default A new low, and I don't mean weight

I've been having problems with my back. Ortho doc says I need an MRI. I say I have extreme claustrophobia and can I have the open one. They say no and ask me to come back and "do a test" of the closed one before they schedule it. The minute I go into the room with the closed MRI, the man who does them looks at me and says I would suggest you have an open one. He slides out the tiny little table that you get on before they push you into the machine. I could tell just looking at it that my hips would hang over the sides. He says I'm going to refer you for the open one, which is good cause then I won't be claustrophobic, but how humiliating to have somebody just eyeball me and say nope. They also told me the open MRI will not give as clear a picture of the spine as the closed one.

If this doesn't bring home how many things overweight causes problems for, I don't know what does.

I've been a member in here for over a year and I've pretty much just read the posts and not really devoted myself to losing weight. I admire you all so much who have been able to do it and stick to your plans.
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:25 PM   #2
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Awww hon, that sucks. But you can do this too. We all can.
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:34 PM   #3
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You can do it too, Paula! It all starts with baby steps. I'm sorry about the MRI experience. Why won't people listen? We clearly know our own bodies very well and where they will and will not fit. Why do folks feel the need to add insult to injury?
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:56 AM   #4
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You had every right to ask for the open one as you did...and when they said no, you should have insisted upon it. The open mri's are very common and not just determined by a person's size and produce excellent views. Your orthopod showed poor judgement in saying no to you initially and believe me....the techs that gave you the test will not think twice about you not fitting.

If it impacted you so negatively, use it as a motivator to change. But don't feel ashamed in the process...you are entitled to have a comfortable procedure just as much as a 150 pound person.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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thanks ladies, you are absolutely right
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:38 PM   #6
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back problems truly suck (I've said that about foot problems too, and they both do truly suck). I hope you get that resolved quickly. you'd think people in the med profession would be a little more empathetic, they aren't always.

most people have ups and downs when it comes to sticking to weight loss plans, I have. hang in there!
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:08 AM   #7
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Sometimes, life is all about closing your eyes and stepping off that cliff finally.....
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:01 AM   #8
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I am in the medical profession and see it all the time. Most of the people I work with are really cool and treat people right. Some are very blatant and like to express words like "Obese" and etc while giving me report on an overweight patient just to sting me with the words (usually a 105 pound goddess who does not understand what it is like to actually have problems in their life). Our hospital is currently making changes to provide for the bariatric and overweight patients that have become more and more common. So far we have an overhead lift system (hang you in a sling, nothing humiliating there!) and a special room with oversized furniture and bathroom with shower. One thing I would like to see is the morticians bringing in stretchers that are actually big enough for people who weigh more than 200 pounds, we have almost dumped more than one out in the parking lot trying to get them in the hurse. I know it sounds awful but the world is getting larger and so there aught to be change reflecting this. Unfortunately there are worse things than snotty techs. Jolene
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:21 PM   #9
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Hi Paula -

I have back problems and have had my share of MRIs. I can barely fit in the closed ones, but I'm not claustrophobic, so I do it anyway. For my most recent MRI, they gave me headphones and let me choose the music I wanted to listen to...so I was able to just close my eyes, relax and forget that I was crammed into a tight tube. Regardless of your size, if you're claustrophic and are only comfortable with the open MRI, then they should allow you to do it. It's not right for the tech to eyeball you and say no way. That was rude and unprofessional, IMHO.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diyana View Post
Hi Paula -

Regardless of your size, if you're claustrophic and are only comfortable with the open MRI, then they should allow you to do it. It's not right for the tech to eyeball you and say no way. That was rude and unprofessional, IMHO.

I guess I see it differently; I didn't think that the tech saying, "I am going to recommend you for the open MRI" was rude. It would have been much more rude to insist that she get up on the table and try to sqeeze into the tube, IMO. It seems that the doctor who insisted that she must try the closed one first was the person who was being insensitive, but who knows--perhaps it was an insurance requirement or something.

Either way, I am sorry that the OP had to go through that because even if it had been handled well and professionally all the way around, it is still embarassing and that's no fun for anyone.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:23 PM   #11
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Actually the man was trying to be "delicate" about it. He said it's not so much about the weight as if you know you are claustrophobic, and you are wider than the average person, then it's obviously going to be even less roomy in there. My weight is definitely in my hips, and I know I would have felt like a sardine in a can in there. The test is tomorrow, I'm trying not to be nervous.

This sounds totally insane, but I definitely have body dysmorphia. I was between 127 and 135 for many years, and I guess my eyes don't get that I've gained 100 lbs. I still look "normal" in my mirror. It doesn't seem to work in photos though, when you're standing next to regular people. My best friends are Asian, so you can imagine the contrast between their slim bodies and mine.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:01 AM   #12
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I agree, photos can be a shocker. For some reason our brains process the information in a photo differently than a mirror.

Good luck on starting on your path to health and wellness.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:04 PM   #13
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Well, had the test yesterday and yes the open MRI looks big UNTIL they stick you in there. It was one of the worst experiences I've ever had. It lasted 45 minutes. The "ceiling" of the machine is right over your face. I'm still getting the shakes just remembering it. They claim the machine will fit up to 500 lb people, but I cannot imagine how tight it would feel if I were any bigger.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:30 PM   #14
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Oh, Paula! I'm so sorry it was a bad experience.
But I'm glad for you, that it's over!!

You did it, and now you can let it go...I'm proud of you!

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Old 08-06-2009, 08:01 PM   #15
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Thanks Linda. I'm really good about pain, had various surgeries, but being claustrophobic, this was a bad experience indeed!

If anybody is wondering, the criteria for the open one, at least in this part of CA, was anybody over 250, claustrophobic, kids, handicapped.
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