Bruce Anderson, High-Field Open MRI

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Bruce Anderson was repairing a forklift when one of the 300-pound wheels started to roll into a nearby car. He reached out to stop it and felt a pop in his shoulder.

Bruce is accustomed to the bumps and bruises of hard physical labor. So he went right back to work that day, and over the next few days tried to manage the searing pain in his neck and shoulder.

But what he could not manage was his fear when he learned that he
would need a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedure. Bruce
is an extreme claustrophobic.

It all started 20 years ago. While he was repairing a pipe underground, the walls of the earth collapsed around him.

For 50 minutes, he breathed through a narrow space, the earth just inches from his face.

“It was as close as you can get to being buried alive,” he said.

Since then, Bruce has been terrified of small spaces. He had to quit his job driving a truck because he couldn’t bear the daily existence in the tiny cab; he feels panicked in crowds; and several years ago, he was unable to tolerate a “closed” design MRI.

But when Bruce tried Fletcher Allen’s High-Field Open MRI, he was so comfortable with the open design that he was able to calmly lie in the machine throughout the procedure.

“The MRI staff did everything they could to make me feel at ease,” he said.

Fletcher Allen’s MRI technologists use their extensive skills and training to make each patient’s experience as comfortable as possible.

All MRI technologists receive two years of allied health training, followed by specific training for the MRI. Fletcher Allen MRI technologists are further required to take a special test in order to be certified in the operation of the MRI machine.

Following the MRI, Bruce learned that he had two herniated disks in his neck and a tear in his shoulder. He visited Fletcher Allen’s Center for Pain
Medicine.

Fletcher Allen’s Center for Pain Medicine offers comprehensive pain
management services for patients suffering from a variety of conditions.

Providers at the Center, who have specific expertise in many aspects of chronic pain, include anesthesiologists, a psychiatrist, nurse practitioners, and nurses with special training in pain management.

They work as a team to provide multidisciplinary expertise, supported by innovative clinical and research-based treatments, and they are actively involved in resident and fellow education.

At the Center for Pain Medicine, Bruce received a steroid epidural injection.

Today, he is almost pain-free. “I am grateful,” he said, “that I was able to find out what was wrong with me without fear or anxiety.”