Tags: mask

Life without CPAP Headgear

Has been wonderful, I don't know why I waited so long.

Anyways, as I had alluded to in my previous post I've had it with CPAP headgear, I had ordered the CPAP Pro....wishing I had gone with 2 now.

The mask arrived on March 15th, but then sat around waiting for a good moment where I could do the boil and bite fitting.  Some stretch of time where I would feel up to be vertical for a sufficient stretch and have flossed and brushed my teeth.  A side effect of using such a mask, is making sure that I've flossed before going to bed now (something I've been known to put off until morning when I'm too sleepy or rushed.)

During this time, I had switched to using a different backup mask....my EasyLife Nasal mask....a weird mask that creates suction to stick to my face while delivering pressure, though the headgear soon started in aggravate my problems and I was starting to develop a sore on the bridge of my nose.  The night before finally starting the CPAP Pro, I end up going back to the Bravo II for one last night.

Meanwhile, later on March 15th, I finally got around to ordering the TAP PAP, which I had somehow hoped would be the better mask given the direction of tubing....but I'm getting ahead of myself here.  I ordered it from CPAP.com, and had them ship it to my personal mailbox at the UPS Store to avoid any chance of a repeat of the problems I had with USPS on my previous order.  Though it came in a box that probably would've fit in a parcel locker this time.  (though I've been left delivery notices for boxes that would've fit, lately...so it might've been at risk.)  The order arrived on March 22nd, another shipment had arrived earlier that week....so it was going to make a challenging grocery/UPS store trip on March 23rd.  And, it was.

Especially with the one last hit of winter that weekend.... I only did a quick pick up of a few items, like bananas, donuts and oatmeal....breakfast, intended to make normal grocery run on Sunday, but the weather didn't permit it.  So, another week of delivery.  Just as well, standing and moving about is getting to be a real challenge these days.  And, it was still a tight cram to get the items into my duffel bag, and balance the cpap.com box on top as I walked home.  But, glad I had still done the quick grocery store trip in hindsight.

But, before that journey...I had finally gotten around to doing the boil and bite of the CPAP Pro on March 20th.  The mask only comes with one size pillows, where standard size fits 99% of users.  Except I'm almost always the outlyer, rarely ever been in the 99% of any other mask that I've tried...and evidently that's the case with CPAP Pro.  While testing the fit of the pillows waiting for the water to boil, I found that the standard pillows barely made contact with the edges of my nares...suggesting that it was going to be a problem once I laid down and more so as the night progressed.  At it was very exact on alignment to make the seal, which would add to the challenge in bed.  Well, it took a couple of tries to do the boil and bite...the first time I had bit down too soon, second time I still didn't get as close as possible to the front, but thought that it would do.  I had let the bite piece fully harden before remembering that I should trim....which now fully hardened wasn't possible to do.  Decided that the excess wasn't bothering me, that it could stay.  I also didn't get the back all the way down, so I thought that might cause problems....seems the main one is that it doesn't hold onto my teeth as well as it could.

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I've had it with CPAP headgear

Pretty much ever since I started CPAP, I've had a problem with pressure sores on the back of my head (could be in part due to a problem with seborrheic dermatitis or something affecting the same region....I did have a massive cyct that was just below hairline removed the summer before OSA dx. Yet another procedure where I was given a local, but ended up completely out and waking was difficult...)

But, virtually every mask on the market insists on using the same spot as a contact point. Some masks are more tolerant though on the strap not being placed there.

Pretty much there is only one mask on the market that solves this headgear issue. The CPAP Pro from http://www.nomask.com.

The problem is that its a pricey mask and it never came up with my DME...though it could just be that its not from one of the big vendors that they carry a selection of and I don't know if I could get them to get it for me or not. And, insurance would pay 100%, so it would've made sense to get it....except for the DME's rigid 6 month rule, and I had gotten a new backup FFM last winter to use a few times. While my nasal pillow mask is pushing 1 year....I did in fact order a replacement -- as referenced in "I did something amazing this morning".

While doing that post, I had researched CPAP PRO some more, and signed up for their email list....where the next day they sent me a limited time offer to get one for $119. But, since I had just gotten the new Bravo II, and I was waiting for late March to inquire if DME would....

Meanwhile, I got an email on February 28th, announcing that "Headgear has just Become a Think in the Past".... Introducing the TAP PAP Nasal Pillow Mask! CPAP.com has it for $129, including shipping and return insurance. And, it comes with all size pillows. While CPAP PRO comes with 'standard' size pillows which they say fits 99%. But, past experience usually puts me in the 1%.... have to call them to get smaller or larger, should that be necessary.

So, in my mind I had a plan that I would wait until the next Discover cycle to order the TAP PAP and next DME visit to see about the CPAP PRO...and see which works. Thinking the one I get from DME, I'm going to keep whether it works or not.....'cause before TAP PAP, the plan was to make it work no matter what.

But, then yesterday I noticed that I had gotten an email the day before titled "CPAP PRO $99 Sale"....I thought about seeing if still worked....or waiting to next week, when I might stop at DME after getting my bi-weekly shot. Though a few days ago the sore on my head got really bad that I need to sleep in a different position and mask doesn't stay put in that position and... and...

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I got an Ultrasonic Cleaner

On cpaptalk.com, it was mentioned using an ultrasonic cleaner to clean masks. So, that got me looking around for an ultrasonic cleaner.

Since the OP got his off of Australian eBay, I decided to get one from a US eBay seller.

It arrived today. I got a bigger unit than the OP, but it isn't too big. In fact when I picked up the package from the UPS store, it was smaller than I expected.

Though for the mask I have now, it'll probably be way too big. Though I have other masks around, and they might need the extra room.

I did a quick test of the machine and then put my glasses in for a short cycle. It sure was interesting watching what seemed like smoke streaming from the rims, hinge and nose pieces. I probably needed to have it in there longer to really get all the gunk out. But, I think my glasses are the cleanest they've ever been....

It'll be Sunday before I get around to run mask parts through it. Want to allow sufficient time for the parts to air dry afterwards....and Saturday I'm helping with communications for the Cabin Fever bike run. Plus I need to brew up some more distilled water....