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Old 19th July 2019, 10:14 AM   #1
wasapi
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The MRI from hell.

Last night I had an MRI of my lumbar spine. Having had 4 spine surgeries, I have had more MRI's than I can count. However, it had been several years since my last MRI, and I assumed they had made the experience somewhat easier by now.

Was I wrong. The did provide ear phones for music - which was new, but the music was impossible to hear because of the noise. So, for an hour, I endured the noise, heat (I was told was caused by the metal in my spine heating up), to the point that I felt as if I was suffocating. I was ready to stop and get out of there before it was done. Gratefully, it was finally over.

I did not expect it to be like a spa, but it was brutal. Today my neck and back are in more pain then usual, and I have a headache from the intense noise. Has anyone had an MRI experience that was difficult? I swear, it is the last one I will ever have!
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:41 AM   #2
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Gah. I hate MRIs. Had one last week. Just 20 minutes but I almost had a panic attack in there; and I'm not even claustrophobic. It's the pounding noise and cramped environs. I made it through by imagining the noise was some sort of anime battle or somesuch.

But they're still the best tech we have for imaging.
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:46 AM   #3
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A friend of mine imagines she's listening to an extended jam version of Daft Punk's "Robot Rock". But she still hates MRIs.
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A friend of mine imagines she's listening to an extended jam version of Daft Punk's "Robot Rock". But she still hates MRIs.
Presumably that's why she imagines she's listening to an extended jam version of Daft Punk's "Robot Rock".
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Presumably that's why she imagines she's listening to an extended jam version of Daft Punk's "Robot Rock".
Presumably she's a big fan of Daft Punk and finds their syncopation mentally engaging and soothing in a stressful situation.
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:58 AM   #6
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Yes, I meant that she feels she has to imagine something she likes in order to endure the whole deal... though I admit that you could read my post to mean that she associates one bad experience with another.
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Old 19th July 2019, 11:01 AM   #7
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I've had more than a few MRI's and they can definitely be torturous, but in 2010 after a motorcycle accident where I was rear-ended by a passenger vehicle I had one but I was so exhausted between everything that was going on in my life at the time that I fell asleep in the scanner.

The folks running the machine got a big kick out of it,
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Old 19th July 2019, 11:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, I meant that she feels she has to imagine something she likes in order to endure the whole deal... though I admit that you could read my post to mean that she associates one bad experience with another.
Ah, yes. That makes sense. Thanks!
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Old 19th July 2019, 11:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Ah, yes. That makes sense. Thanks!
My MRI was to determine the size and shape of the prostate, they provided ear plugs and I took a nap for most of the hour.
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Old 19th July 2019, 01:43 PM   #10
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My shoulders are 24" wide, and elbows beside my chest even bigger. They used to have a slippery nylon sheet. I had to drive across town for one a couple years ago. Then my HMO got a Big Bore of their own, no more fear of getting jammed in there. Last time I found the thumping hypnotic, nearly fell a sleep.

Then in April, while inpatient and sedated, they did my brain in a small machine. I guess only up to my shoulders? No stroke damage, but Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension- Water on the Brain. So now I am awaiting the Big Bore, (3 weeks away) to verify the water, plus show the neck disc that I belief is pinching off the water flow away from the brain.

Better living through more Amps- they rate the machines in 'T's, for Teslas. They are up to 4T now.
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Old 19th July 2019, 02:44 PM   #11
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Hey, Blue Tooth, looks like they have headphones without metal in them. I'll keep that in mind if I need another one.
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Old 19th July 2019, 05:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Last night I had an MRI of my lumbar spine. Having had 4 spine surgeries, I have had more MRI's than I can count. However, it had been several years since my last MRI, and I assumed they had made the experience somewhat easier by now.

Was I wrong. The did provide ear phones for music - which was new, but the music was impossible to hear because of the noise. So, for an hour, I endured the noise, heat (I was told was caused by the metal in my spine heating up), to the point that I felt as if I was suffocating. I was ready to stop and get out of there before it was done. Gratefully, it was finally over.

I did not expect it to be like a spa, but it was brutal. Today my neck and back are in more pain then usual, and I have a headache from the intense noise. Has anyone had an MRI experience that was difficult? I swear, it is the last one I will ever have!
I've got a full spine MRI this Sunday. Then a head/brain ... AGAIN, because the first time they didn't get decent images and they want to do one after sticking a ****** great spike in my arm and siphoning 'gadolinium' into my blood to get better contrast.

I can't believe they tell you that you're "welcome to bring a CD" in the same breath as warning you about the noise ("as loud as a pneumatic drill", which it is) - I'm using expanding foam ear-plugs from now on, the insertion of which I'm adept from my years on bikes.

I reckon the pain you subsequently experienced might be due to the stress and the tension it induced in your body. I generally find I can sort of self-hypnotise into a relaxed state when subjected to unpleasant procedures (dental or medical), and it does make then hurt less.
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Old 19th July 2019, 06:40 PM   #13
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I don't mind the noise, but the hardest thing for me is to stay still with that noise pulsing so loudly.

I always have more back problems afterwards and have on occasion needed assistance to get off the tray. (Because my back muscles have locked up for some reason).

Edited to add:

My shoulders are also too wide for the tunnel, I have to fold my arms up and hold them in place like an Egyptian mummy.

Very claustrophobic.
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Old 19th July 2019, 07:16 PM   #14
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I dont mid the scans, I fell asleep on the last one. However I felt heat in my face and it left me with what seemed like a sunburn.
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Old 19th July 2019, 08:22 PM   #15
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So sorry, Wasapi. I think I had several MRI's when I fell off the roof, but was pretty drugged up so I don't remember. I do vaguely recall being disappointed on being sent from the pretty big hospital to the really big hospital that they stopped giving me fentanyl.
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Old 20th July 2019, 09:58 AM   #16
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The tech informed me that the sensation of heat and suffocation was caused by the hardware in my spine heating up from the MRI. I had never heard that before, but I have no reason doubt him. It was just the first time I recall experiencing the feeling of difficulty breathing and of suffocating.
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Old 20th July 2019, 10:04 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by 383LQ4SS View Post
I dont mid the scans
Do you bass or treble them, then?
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Old 20th July 2019, 03:27 PM   #18
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I had one for gall bladder (liver, small intestine). Which meant regular "breathe in, hold, breathe out". The problem was that I was already breathing shallow to fight the claustrophobia, and they kept the "breathe in" part really really short, and never told me beforehand how long the hold part would be. So on top of the claustrophobia, noise, heat I got these cycles of panic of running out of air.

It was only half an hour, but it was brutal, and during the last stretch I was seriously considering pulling the plug. I told them afterwards, and told them I would have ben a LOT more fine if they would gave me more warning time beforehand, and told me before that the next cycle would be a longer hold than the last. They did not comment on that, so I don't know if this changed anything, or if there's a reason for the procedure they use (again, I would have fared a LOT better if a knew before). If I ever have to do it again, I'll ask before.
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Old 20th July 2019, 03:55 PM   #19
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*Makes note: Do not get MRI.
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Old 21st July 2019, 05:28 AM   #20
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Not being contrary for the sake of it but I've had a few (quick count about 6, for shoulders, hips and spine) and I actually like them, I find them rather relaxing and often doze off during.
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Old 21st July 2019, 08:09 AM   #21
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Just got back from the spine MRI, used earplugs AND 'phones, much more better!

Having done a little research I've decided I'm not consenting to the gadolinium enhanced brain MRI - enough is enough. I think there's way too much of a 'pea-shelling', scatter-gun mentality in the UK's NHS when it comes to "routine" procedures like this, they should be left until the more specific, targeted blood-work and biopsies have been done.

As well as an aversion to the very idea of having a 'chelated metal' pumped in to me, I have to confess to witnessing something rather off-putting when I had the first MRI back n May;

a perfectly healthy-looking lady c. late 30's emerged from her scan while I was waiting, got in the lift to leave then re-appeared a few minutes later bleeding profusely from the hole in her elbow where the gadolinium had been injected. There was a nice pool on the floor of the lift and she left a trail behind her as she went back in to have the 'leak' sorted. **** that, as they say.
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Old 21st July 2019, 08:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by IsThisTheLife View Post
Just got back from the spine MRI, used earplugs AND 'phones, much more better!

Having done a little research I've decided I'm not consenting to the gadolinium enhanced brain MRI - enough is enough. I think there's way too much of a 'pea-shelling', scatter-gun mentality in the UK's NHS when it comes to "routine" procedures like this, they should be left until the more specific, targeted blood-work and biopsies have been done.

As well as an aversion to the very idea of having a 'chelated metal' pumped in to me, I have to confess to witnessing something rather off-putting when I had the first MRI back n May;

a perfectly healthy-looking lady c. late 30's emerged from her scan while I was waiting, got in the lift to leave then re-appeared a few minutes later bleeding profusely from the hole in her elbow where the gadolinium had been injected. There was a nice pool on the floor of the lift and she left a trail behind her as she went back in to have the 'leak' sorted. **** that, as they say.
Probably on blood thinners, the Gad had nothing to do with the bleeding. And perhaps they were even looking for the cause of whatever required the blood thinners. YOU are not blood thinners. And, blood is cheap compared to a good diagnosis.
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Old 21st July 2019, 11:09 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Not being contrary for the sake of it but I've had a few (quick count about 6, for shoulders, hips and spine) and I actually like them, I find them rather relaxing and often doze off during.
My sixteen year-old daughter had one for a suspected fractured wrist recently. I can't remember if all of her went into the machine, or whether they had a smaller one. She didn't think it was too bad.
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Old 21st July 2019, 11:46 AM   #24
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Is anyone aware of the validity of the tech's explanation for why I became suffocating with the feeling of heat? He said that it was because of the hardware in my spine. The hardware has been there for years, and I don't recall having had the sensation before. Most have been easy, and yes, I did even doze in some past ones.

I am confused as to why this MRI was so different then the past. As I said, it is the last one I will ever have.
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Old 21st July 2019, 11:49 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Is anyone aware of the validity of the tech's explanation for why I became suffocating with the feeling of heat? He said that it was because of the hardware in my spine. The hardware has been there for years, and I don't recall having had the sensation before. Most have been easy, and yes, I did even doze in some past ones.

I am confused as to why this MRI was so different then the past. As I said, it is the last one I will ever have.
The changing magnetic fields will induce eddy currents in any metal and these will have a heating effect - it's how an induction hob works.

As to the amounts, I have no idea whether they would be significant for your case.
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US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 21st July 2019, 12:08 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
*Makes note: Do not get MRI.
You should have one if you need one. Doesn't hurt to question the docs about the need, of course.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 09:51 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Not being contrary for the sake of it but I've had a few (quick count about 6, for shoulders, hips and spine) and I actually like them, I find them rather relaxing and often doze off during.
I had an MRI on my knee about three years ago. I wouldn't describe it as pleasant, but it wasn't especially unpleasant either. What struck me about the noise was not so much the loudness, although it was pretty loud, but the strangeness and variety of the noises. It was sort of like a compilation of every bad sci-fi movie sound effect and avant-garde electronic "music" record ever made. I did have the thought that, for a small child, it might be pretty frightening.

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Old 22nd July 2019, 10:05 AM   #28
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If the MRI was indeed from Hell it seems reasonable to expect some heat. That region is notorious for warmth.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 10:18 AM   #29
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My wife also recently had an MRI after a nasty concussion from a car wreck. Given that she was experiencing quite a bit of noise sensitivity causing headaches and nausea, it was not a good experience.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 11:39 AM   #30
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One Vegan/enviro-whacko told me that the MRI leaves you with all of your atoms orbiting in ONE plane....

I think his diet may have left him a few Quarks short of a full set.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 01:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
One Vegan/enviro-whacko told me that the MRI leaves you with all of your atoms orbiting in ONE plane....

I think his diet may have left him a few Quarks short of a full set.

Be sure to tell him that MRI is a medical application of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. It might make you explode or become radioactive.

The closest I've come to an MRI was an NMR spectroscope I used in my college chemistry lab.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 01:19 PM   #32
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Reminds me of the old Steven Wright joke: "My Dr. just ordered an MRI scan for me. He wanted to know if I was claustrophobic."


I'm a big guy and found out that I was claustrophobic being jammed into the small tubes. For those like me, I recommend a small dose of .125mg Triazolam. Works great and is very safe. Get it from the referring doctor and have someone drive you to and from the MRI. Makes a world of difference.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 02:54 PM   #33
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So, it's the Monday after my Sunday afternoon spine MRI;

from about 6 PM yesterday I was overcome with fatigue like I've never felt before (I've had to get used to a general level over the last six months). Really, just incapacitating. I had to lie down c. 7PM and the next thing I knew it was 10PM.

I had no preconceptions about any effects that an MRI might have, and it definitely wasn't in the brochure, but I sure as hell went on line and had a looksie, discovered this isn't uncommon at all, particularly for people already weakened by illness.

ETA > should add that I am still extremely tired today and fell asleep sitting in an armchair, again at c. 7PM, but this time a phone call woke me up 10 minutes in. I was completely relaxed during the scan, felt no stress at all.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 04:15 PM   #34
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Fatigue is not a side effect of being in a magnetic field. Maybe you were anxious about your experience and it exhausted you? Who knows? It's doubtful the fatigue is related to your MRI. That is an atypical effect. If others are "weakened by their illness" as you claimed from internet research, how would you separate that from the effects of the scan itself?



Did you have gadolinium contrast material injected into you prior to your scan?

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Old 23rd July 2019, 04:34 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by crhkrebs View Post
Fatigue is not a side effect of being in a magnetic field. Maybe you were anxious about your experience and it exhausted you? Who knows? It's doubtful the fatigue is related to your MRI. That is an atypical effect. If others are "weakened by their illness" as you claimed from internet research, how would you separate that from the effects of the scan itself?



Did you have gadolinium contrast material injected into you prior to your scan?
I suggested that as a possible cause of Wasapi's reaction to his MRI, but as I've also said, I felt no stress whatsover, I generally don't during medical procedures. Unless it affected me WAY down deep in my unconscious, I have to assume that this was a real, direct physical effect of the scan. Many others have reported similar experiences.

As I came out of the scanner and began to move about, I noticed that my body (particularly arms) felt as if it had been warmed up from the inside, I asked the radiographer and he said that this wasn't my imagination - 30-odd minutes inside a focused, intense, resonating EM field does actually warm up the iron-bearing compounds in your body.

The "deny, deny, deny" attitude of establishment medical authorities when any question about effects and side-effects of their favoured procedures is raised can be rather tiresome.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 05:03 AM   #36
Belz...
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Originally Posted by IsThisTheLife View Post
I suggested that as a possible cause of Wasapi's reaction to his MRI, but as I've also said, I felt no stress whatsover, I generally don't during medical procedures. Unless it affected me WAY down deep in my unconscious, I have to assume that this was a real, direct physical effect of the scan. Many others have reported similar experiences.

As I came out of the scanner and began to move about, I noticed that my body (particularly arms) felt as if it had been warmed up from the inside, I asked the radiographer and he said that this wasn't my imagination - 30-odd minutes inside a focused, intense, resonating EM field does actually warm up the iron-bearing compounds in your body.
You're overstating the effects of EM fields.

Quote:
The "deny, deny, deny" attitude of establishment medical authorities when any question about effects and side-effects of their favoured procedures is raised can be rather tiresome.
Sounds like you can't possibly be wrong about this, eh?
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Old 23rd July 2019, 05:10 AM   #37
TragicMonkey
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I've read that some tattoos can react to MRI, depending on what's in the ink. You won't know until you get in there. Fun stuff!.... he said, looking at his 20 year old tattoo. I guess I may find out someday!
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Old 23rd July 2019, 05:11 AM   #38
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Relaxation via hypnotic situations can have an effect. For instance, a few minutes under hypnosis is like 8 hours of sleep. Perhaps IsThisThsLIfe merely had a sleep cycle disturbed by the hypnotic effect?
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Old 27th July 2019, 11:38 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I've read that some tattoos can react to MRI, depending on what's in the ink. You won't know until you get in there. Fun stuff!.... he said, looking at his 20 year old tattoo. I guess I may find out someday!
Dark inks based on iron oxide perhaps?

I don't think I've ever experienced a heating sensation, but did experience incredible internal itching sensations once. (knee MRI).

The trouble with Fibromyalgia, is that all sensation is amplified (for me at least) so weird sensations is true for me, pretty much all the time.



Edited to add: Yup. Iron oxide pigments: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445217/
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Last edited by novaphile; 27th July 2019 at 11:41 PM. Reason: Link to article about tattoos and MRI burns
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