Living ~400lbs

… and believe me I am still alive

Fun with Breathing

Manufacturer's pic of my CPAP mask    
Manufacturer’s pic of my CPAP mask

Sunday night (and Monday morning) I kept waking up due to my CPAP mask blowing a stream of cold air on my lip.   I thought it was perhaps an inadequate seal between the rubbery “nasal pillows” and my nostrils, but futzed around and eventually got back to sleep. 
Monday night as I took my book to bed, I put my mask on, turned on the CPAP…and discovered yes, a steady stream of air blowing on my lip.  I tried my usual adjustment tricks, no dice.  But in feeling around to see where the air was coming from (and helped by the fact that I was much more awake than previously) I realized it was coming from just below where the rubbery nasal pieces connect. 

In fact: There’s a wee crack in the hard plastic of the nose piece.  

A wee crack in what the man of the house pointed out was an eminently duct-tapable hard plastic surface….  

I slept much better last night.  Yay duct tape!   

My geek side wants to add that it’s very appropriate to use duct tape on Star Wars Day since it has a light side and a dark side and it binds the universe together.   *boom-tish*


Not that I won’t be getting a new mask.  But I can shop around online instead of paying OMG prices at the sleep doctor’s office.  In other health-related stuff:

  • I often go days, nay, a week without my right knee hating me.  Once it loosened up from the car ride it had no problems with sloped aisles at the Seattle Rep or  at Safeco Field last weekend.  (My hips even cleared the box seats!)   This is mainly because I have been exercising enough to keep my knee happy …
  • But not enough that walking a mile is easy.  This makes walking with someone else tiresome, since my pace is usually slower.   I’m not sure how much of this is due to …
  • My allergies kicking my ass.  I’ve doubled up on my “one a day” antihistamines and using my inhaler once or twice a day and still can’t take a deep breath half the time. 

So I have an appointment with my ARNP to talk about more asthma-treatment options.   I’m a little worried that I’ll just be told to lose weight, but given my previous experience I don’t really expect it.  :)

10 responses to “Fun with Breathing”

  1. Seriously? We wear the EXACT SAME MASK! Great minds and all….. :)
    I tried several different kinds (example here: This one’s ventilation holes seemed too small for me and I felt like I was re-breathing my own exhalation).

    As for your problem with the cracking at the seal…I had the same problem and used duct tape as well. It doesn’t last long since there’s often moisture/drips leaking from the same crack. My insurance pays for a new mask every 4 months, so I just get a new one when that happens. I got my new one just a couple weeks ago and found there was no padding on the part that rests on the back of your head, so I swapped it out with my old one.

    Have you tried any other nasal masks that you like equally well?

    Good luck with your ARNP visit. Hope you get some relief soon. My migraines have subsided..the rain helps quell the extra pollen, so I’m good to go. Congrats on your knee victory!!!

    1. I’m thinking of buying just the nose piece – CPAP.COM has it for $55. It’s the piece that broke before. What do you think?

      1. I think that’s a great idea. I often keep or reuse my headgear when I get a new mask. Mainly because I have it set up already to my comfort needs, so unless the straps have really stretched out, I will just use the parts I need.

        But $55 seems like an awful lot for just the nose piece. Does it come with nasal pillows and new tubing? If so, then I woud do it. That tubing on the mask can be flimsy and I have cracked it while washing it.

        1. I’m not sure. CPAP.COM has the full mask for $75, so it may be worth getting it just for the tubing and nasal pillows.

          1. I’d definitely get the whole thing. I have bought this mask from them when I was trying new masks out in the beginning and went past the return policy. I also bought from them the one La di da has below. It’s the one that made me feel like I was rebreathing my own exhalation.
            Also, my nares measure as small, but I ALWAYS use the larger pillows because I feel it provides the most free movement of air for me. Is that just me or do you ever feel that way with your mask on>?

  2. I’ve tried that mask but I can’t get comfortable with it.

    I have several backup masks. I buy all my own CPAP equipment after a truly hideous experience with a certain DME supplier.

    1. I love my mask, I’m not sure why. I have a backup mask, but it has face straps and tends to cause zits. (Otoh it is much more compact for traveling.)

  3. I have a nasal pillow “mask” too – but the ResMed one which has the prongs attached to a cylindery thing. I’ve had it for over three years! I know they say to replace them every 6-12 months but I’ve been careful with it and use baby bottle sterilising tablets to clean it once a week. Though I clean it every day if I’m sick. I think the recommendation to replace your mask often is a scam by the manufacturers to get you to buy more. :P

    1. My masks last years too. I wash out the tubing, nose piece and nasal pillows every week (okay, sometimes two) – I use a bit of liquid hand soap and lots of water. :)

  4. […] Searching this blog tells me this last happened in May 2009. […]

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About Me

Former software tester, now retired heart patient having fun and working on building endurance and strength. See also About page.

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