CT scans

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Not sure if this a question, a word of warning but thought I should ‘share’…..

Mum had another CT scan this morning. (they seem to have been almost routine these last few months alongside the Gamma camera/MRI stuff) ….. except this was her brain scan (not chest/abdomen etc) …

Previously, I was allowed to stay in the Gamma Scanner room with her, have experienced for myself an MRI scanner…. but never into a CT scanner room before today (had to leave for the test to be done, of course).

Yes, it was dimly lit and a bit surreal but I figured mum has had so many of these before it would be a breeze for her …… a CT scan is a CT scan, surely, even if it’s a different part of the body being scanned???? (I’m hopelessly ‘un-medical’ you will realise).

Well, mum was ‘returned’ to us in the waiting area being supported by TWO staff (she was no more ‘wobbly’ on her feet than usual first thing this morning) and looked, well scared. For a couple of hours afterwards she was very shaky and tearful.

Just never known her react like this to a scan before…(not being flippant but she seems to treat them as a trip out, usually followed by lunch somewhere - today she just wanted to get home and have a cup of tea)

As I don’t know ‘what goes on’ in that room during the scan am left wondering….. does scanning the head/brain involve different procedures to anything she has known before? Was it just a bad day? Could she really have deteriorated between the last scan (only a few weeks ago) and today? Could I have prepared her better for it? Might someone have prepared ME better for what to expect?

Considering I wasn’t sure if I had a question, the ‘?’ button on my keyboard is nearly worn out… sorry……

Karen, x
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
Dear Karen,
I think they have to position the patient's head in a frame and hold it tightly in position, so that the head can't move even the tiniest bit. A friend had this procedure and she said it was really unpleasant and made her feel quite claustraphobic. She could understand why it needed to be done, but someone who didn't would feel far worse.
I hope your Mum soon gets over it. Perhaps she'll just forget about it all.
Kayla
 

Gromit

Registered User
Apr 3, 2006
187
Edinburgh
I had an MRI scan for my head/neck and they had to immobilise my head for the scan - which meant my head was strapped into a horrid cage like contraption - very scarey. Perhaps your Mum had to be immobilised too and that scared her?

Don't know if it's the same for a CT scan (no experience) but was wondering if this is the first time your Mum has had her brain scanned - perhaps it was something similar to my experience with the MRI - immobilised, placed into a tube and felt claustrophobic. Don't want to make it sound scarey for everyone else out there especially if a CT scan is different - but I too would be interested to know what happens with a CT scan - just in case my Dad needs one in the future.

Thanks for raising this - I will watch for replies with interest!

I hope your Mum is feeling much better and that the cup of tea has helped (she's right about having a cup of tea - the best medicine at times!).

Take care

Gromit
x
 

chip

Registered User
Jul 19, 2005
400
Scotland
ct scan

I will e mail a friend of mine thats part of his job. Will get back to you all when he e mails me back
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Karen,
From what others say, sounds as though mum may have had a torrid time - what a blessing that she is likely not to remember it. It must make you feel sick, thinking about it - makes me want to cry for your mum, and I don't know her! Try and let it go Karen - it is done, she is safe now and will have had that healing cup of tea. Keep loving. You are doing a brilliant job.
Love Helen
 

chip

Registered User
Jul 19, 2005
400
Scotland
this is what happens

Patient lies on back with head in a cradle just a sloping rest \_ Normally the head would then be padded at the side to keep it straight, then a soft band applied across the forehead to keep it still. Patient is then slid into position with head in "donut" of machine
First a planning scan is taken this means the patient will slid out the machine. Once this has been done a detailed scan is taken this means the patient will be slide remotely and the gantry may tilt. The CT scanner sounds like a large washing machine. It usualy takes less than 5 mins to do.
Hope this helps you all.
 

mumof3

Registered User
Feb 6, 2006
82
My MIL has one of these booked for Thursday this week. She breezed through the last one six months ago so hopefully this one will not trouble her unduely. Have to say it sounds really unpleasant. I cannot imagine the feeling especially if you are fearing what the images may show.
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
All I know is that my Mom's neurologist said he could do a CT or PET scan to better see the damaged to Mom's brain ( she had two MRI's in the past) but that it wouldn't change anything and he hated to put her through it. You know if a doctor says that, it must be difficult at best so we passed on it. Mom was at a stage where we couldn't have explained to her what was happening and she wouldn't have understood it.

Debbie
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
My mother had her done in Spain I was allowed to go inside help her lie down while she had to keep very still while her head was place in what look like a small tunnel . then I had to leave they call me back when it was finish I always remember my mum shaking from head to foot .don’t think you could of done anything to prepare her for it she must just of had a secret fear the stress of it all just came out afterwards like my mother but ever one different I know.

I also wonder as my mother had AD I did not know then, but she could have just got confused in what was going on so was extra nerves.

So seeing that your mother got that letter the other week that could have been playing on her mind. Just a thought.

How long before you get the tests back?
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Well, thank you all... just wish I'd thought to ask the question BEFOREHAND - instead of naively assuming one scan might be much like another....

Sounds like the 'keyword' is the immobilisation....

Chip, thanks so much for going to that trouble ...my experience seems much like Margarita's - helping mum to lie down, getting her head 'rested' on what looked like a moulded polystyrene pillow ... she actually looked quite comfy when I left the room - and we hadn't gone through all the usual angst of derobing and donning a hospital gown which has usually got her anxious even pre-scan... it just didn't equate with her reaction after the test....

Not complaining - just I think there's room for improvement about the information that could have been given (by several people at several opportunities in my mum's case) about the actual procedure and the possible after effects .. if not to the patient then to the carer.....

Well, one thing learnt, this carer will never assume anything again!! Poor docs don't know what they're in for!!!

Absolutely not trying to scare-monger .... just a 'beware' this MIGHT happen .... and hopefully anyone reading my ignorance will be better prepared than me for it!!!

Love and thanks, Karen, x


PS: Almost goes without saying, mum has COMPLETELY forgotten she even went to the hospital yesterday..... for once that's a huge :)
 

angela.robinson

Registered User
Dec 27, 2004
520
77
Scan

Hi . The Last Scan Jim Had, Last Of Three ,can Not Remember What This One Was Called ,but It Was An Open Type Machine With Head Taped In Place , I Was Insistent On Being In With Him , Which They Allowed , I Was So Glad As The Worse Thing About It Was The Loud Clanging Sound The Machine Made, Could Be Realy Frightening ,there Was A Mirror Placed Above His Face So We Could See Each Other And I Could Speak To Him To Keep Him Calm,i Knew After That One I Would Not Agree To Another , In His Case It Would Have Served No Purpose.i Think It May Have Been The Magnetic Scan.
Angela.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Every cloud, Karen, every cloud....

I know you've had your question answered, but I just wanted to add, if that's the scan where it goes clang, clang, clang I'm not suprised she was upset. My son had one of those when he was 11, and although I could see what was going on, it took 3 tries before we managed to get a good one - very claustrophic, very scary, very loud.

Jennifer
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
I want to add too that they can put them under anesthesia (mild) for a scan too. My sister in law just had one and she is very claustrophobic with MS. They put her out for it.
Debbie
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Debbie - was she totally out? I ask because Corin (son) was given valium beforehand, but it didn't stop him climbing the walls, and if I ever have to do that in future I'd like to know.

Jennifer
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
MRI and CT Scans

Here are some good links that explain (with pictures!) how these two procedures are carried out.

On MRI:

http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=headmr

http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/MRI.html

On CT:

http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=headct

http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/ctscan.html

What's interesting is that both factsheets mention people who are prone to claustrophobia (especially in the case of MRI) might benefit from a sedative prior to the procedure.

Take care,

Sandy
 

Cate

Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
1,370
Newport, Gwent
Hi Karen

I've had a CT scan and it is really claustrophobic. Head strapped in, rolled into a metal box, the top of which is a few inches from your nose, and the loud noise is awful. Plus you are flat on your back, so you feel dizzy when you sit up. If it hadn't been for the technician talking to me through a microphone into the 'box' I would have bottled it and told her to get me out.

So all sympathy to your mum, they should have explained to both of you what to expect. Check to see if they have a microphone into the scanner, and suggest you talk to her while its going on if there is to be a next time, it may help her a bit.

Cate