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Blood gas, anyone?


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I am wondering about whether I should maybe have a blood gas, since no other tests can pinpoint my breathing problems.

I have heard that they are very painful. I obviously don't want one unless they are useful. Have any of you had one because you were short of breath? Did it show anything?


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I've had two, one when I had pneumonia and one while having a stress test (where you get adrenaline and they watch how your heart reacts to this by echo). They both were painful. When I had the last one, during the echo I asked my cardio if I could hold his hand and squeeze (I don't know whether this is the right word, I mean: hold his hand very strong). It was very painful again but it takes some minutes and after that it was over and done. I didn't like it and I wouldn't like to have another one done, but if it has to be done it just has to be. When I have to do a painful test I always think of delivering my babies: THAT WAS PAINFUL :unsure: so this always helps me (it also makes me smile to think of that :) ).

Btw I don't know whether it showed something, I've forgotten that. Good luck, I can understand that you're thinking of this because you need to find an answer on your breathing problems. Good luck again,


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Yes, I've had it once. It was extremely painful I must say. But it wasn't so painful that I wouldn't do it again if it was recommended.

I agree, it doesn't hold a candle to childbirth...that was painful! And the blood gas test is a LOT quicker!


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hello amy,

first, i just wanted to say that i have been following your other thread about the endocrinologist and other doctor's visit. i am so APPALLED at what happened to you. i cannot believe he said that about never knowing the cause and just accepting that. that is UNACCEPTABLE!

as for how many specialists is too much or how many tests are too many? well, that is a hard call b/c in your case you are NOT 'crying wolf'. there really seems to be something going on with you. (by the way, did you have the celiac test? i forget again...) when i read your symptoms i really worry about you. and i think you are just being dismissed as an 'anxious young woman' when that is not at all the case.

i have heard too many stories of people being dismissed over and over and finally finding a doctor who listened and then finding out what was really going on with them. when i first go sick i went to every type of specialist imaginable trying to get a diagnosis...until i found someone who listened and took me seriously. i had tons of tests done, some unnecessarily, but we did the best we could with the information we had.

the lesson for me though, is that if you think something is going on you must trust yourself and pursue the best care possible. i almost stopped pursuing things after a diagnosis of CFS. then, after a couple of years and no change, i discovered i had POTS. then, again, recently i switched to a different POTS doctor who is approaching things differently. i don't think that i have been just seeing doctors for the heck of it...it is just a very hard road to find the gems out there.

why am i writing all of this???? because i am soooo worried about you and i don't want you to dismiss what is going on with your body. it's not okay to just loose all this weight for no reason.

oops, should have posted this under your other thread.

anyway, i saw a pulminologist when i first got sick b/c i was so short of breath. i now know, that for me, the shortness of breath was coming from my inability to keep my bp up and now i know when it happens that that is what is going on.

but, at the beg. we had no idea so we did a lot of tests for breathing stuff, asthma, blood clot in the lung, etc.

i had the blood gas test done. and i hate to report this, but it was one of the worst tests that i have had done. it goes down there with the tilt. but now, after i have had these GI attacks, i think i'd take a blood gas any day. so it is all relative.

i had NO idea the test was going to be painful and wasn't prepared. also, the tech was a bit incompetent and couldn't find my artery. she said it was hard in thin, young people. great, right? so, she was like fishing around in my wrist for the artery. then, she botched up and had to do the other wrist. so needless to say, i probably had the nightmare test circumstance. that is how it always goes for me! :) i had to lie down for the test b/c the pain made me so weak and dizzy.

then, of course, b/c i was in pain, i sort of breathed more quickly or held my breath or whatever, so they told me blood gas was fine, but i was just 'anxious' and that is why it came back the way it did. i said, um, i was in a LOT of pain!

anyway, aren't you glad you asked? or was ignorance bliss? :) sorry, just being honest here.

also, i am very worried about you.

i wouldn't avoid the test just b/c of the pain though. it is worth it if you get some helpful information into your problems. for me the tilt test was sooo bad but i would never take back doing it b/c it was the beginning of the path to diagnosis, and hopefully healing, for me.

sorry this got so long...please keep us posted.


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Yep, blood gas hurts. I've also had arterial line placed twice--it's like an IV, but in the artery. Some hospitals will use a bit of lidocaine to help with the pain, but for me, that was useless because my nerves run right over the arteries on both arms. The right arm's artery hurts me way more than the left--and unlike the rest of you, my pain continued because the arteries went into spasm. Several hours later, I felt better.


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Oh, DancingLight, thank you for your concern. I know it's odd that I have all of these problems. If it makes you feel any better, I have not lost any weight since September -- well, I lost a few pounds but gained it back. So I definitely have leveled off, and the doctors say this is a good sign, because if it were cancer, or something horrible, I'd probably still be going downhill. I might still be losing muscle -- or at least I was up until a couple months back. It's kind of hard to tell, because I lost so much.

I really am trying to be patient and get this figured out. As all of this stuff is happening, my blood glucose has been creeping steadily. It was always around 70 and over the last year has been 85, then 90, then 95, and just last week it was 99. That is a little scary because my dad had type II diabetes. I am hoping that the glucose is rising because my body is out of sync and it will get better when I get better overall.

I do really think sometimes we don't know what's wrong, but I will not stop trying to search for answers. At the same time, I can't let it consume me. Even if I were to find out it was something bad, if there was nothing I could do about it, I would have wasted all of these months on research/doctors/etc. and not have anything to show for it. I am trying my best to enjoy my life and spend time with my family and friends, because I know that all of my symptoms very well could be the signal of something sinister.

Thanks for your support and encouragement. I hope you are getting by OK these days. I feel like we never hear how YOU are feeling because you're so busy supporting all of us!


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i think that sounds like a good 'balance'--in terms of searching for answers and still enjoying life as much as possible.

i know that sometimes i just need a break from all of the medical stuff, and that i really have to pace myself with it. other people (non-potsies) can find it frustrating and think that i am not trying hard enough. but that is not the case...it's just an issue of continuously seeking balance. i don't have it mastered! but, i do understand what you are saying...trying to find the balance b/w the medical stuff and our other spiritual, emotional and physical needs.

i am in one of those 'balancing' acts right now too with GI stuff...like how much do i pursue it and how many appts. vs. taking time to do other things. especially when the appts. can be so infuriating!

also, thank you for your kind words. i feel like i mumble and groan a lot and that i whine enough! i never feel like i give enough to this site compared to what i get! but, well, maybe i will grumble in a post soon! i need to! but, i feel like i just did in that one a couple of weeks ago after i took my little 'break.'

i hope that as you do pursue answers that you will continue to keep us posted! i know i will be worrying (you know, that jewish worry gene! :)

okay, as you can tell i am having a very exciting new year's eve!

take care amy and please continue to keep us posted...we want you around for a long, long time! :)


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Guest Ph03ziX

Hi Amy, If you have skinny wrists like me, JEZUS!! (said in Jim Carey voice) does it hurt, but it's worth it if it shows what is wrong, or if it's all normal. I think the pain is dependant on what your threshold is, how stressed you are at the time, and how psychologically prepared you are for it. A bit like a normal blood test.

With a blood test if I am stressed and dont like/trust the dude doing it, I nearly faint, in contrast, if I'm chatting away (a good tactic to distract your brain) and feel at ease, it's not pleasent, but far less stressful.

When I've had blood gases done it leave a big bruise and one tendons inside feel like someones hit them. E.g it F%%%% Hurts. I'd go for it personally, although just typing this makes me queezy as I'm a man, so a bit of a wuss compared to you women!

Mighty Mouse had an arterial line?

(I think I'm gonna be sick!)



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