The Incredible Growing Mask

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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The Incredible Growing Mask

Post by mikemoran » Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:45 am

Everyone talks about the possible side effects of CPAP therapy like Aerophagia and DME price gouging. How come no one seems to mention the most insidious and potentially devastating side effect of all? Yes, I am talking about the secret threat of “Mask Addiction”. We all have drawers filled with silicone and plastic contraptions guaranteed to make therapy just that much more comfortable. The difference is some of us know when to stop at a drawer, and others of us have no self control. Hopefully, when you hear my tale you will not follow my same path of excess and be able to keep that interface off your back.

It all started out so simply. A visit to my DME to be given my insurance approved, “as-far-away-as-possible-from-the-latest-technology”, equipment. First teaching me the intricacies of the on and off switch for my brand spanking new, (only been in his warehouse for two years), puffer. Then he gave me a taste of the silicone that would soon be ruling my life. As he strapped that mask onto to me, he knew I would be back for more. Those tiny pillows nestled against my nostrils gave me the hope restful sleep and a new obsession.

At the start it was good, air delivered as required and snoring silenced. But it wasn’t perfect. Those little leaks, nares irritation and middle of the night adjustments started wearing on me. Thinking it must be the head gear I started acquiring all the variations. Soft straps, hard straps, lockboxes, baseball caps and sky hooks were all tried to no avail. If they didn’t have enough support I added pantyhose, rubber bands, head bands and jockstraps until they were just a little off from being right. I went from the freedom of having a relatively open face to being mummified under duct tape and support hose.

The pillows clearly weren’t enough; I craved even more and moved on to the next level. I started injecting silicone directly into my nostrils. It was pure hardcore the moment I stuck that “Nasal Prong Interface” into me. After that there was no going back for me.

My hunger for plastic grew and grew. Just a little bit inside my nostril wasn’t enough, I needed to encase my whole nose. Why should I just stop at the nose when I could cover my mouth in one too? Yeah full face was clearly my ticket and one that covered my chin even better. I have to admit I crave even more.

I am saving up for a trip to Australia where I hear you can get a mask vacuum formed for your face. Everyday I search E-bay to see if there are any slightly used “Bubble Boy” bubbles available for sale. Any day now I should be receiving my chemical warfare suit and I got a line on a black market NASA space suit. It can’t go on. Somebody please stop me before I Interface again.

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Post by hecate » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:43 am

Resistance is futile!


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Post by rested gal » Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:35 pm

I craved even more and moved on to the next level. I started injecting silicone directly into my nostrils.

Mike, this is one of your best yet! LOL!!

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Post by dsm » Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:53 pm

As always you hit the spot - right on top of current themes

Mike, your ability to retain originality in each new post is impressive

xPAP and Quattro std mask (plus a pad-a-cheek anti-leak strap)

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Award Winner

Post by 53now » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:21 pm

Hey Mike ,
You should get some type of Award for this piece of Literature. Great Job !!!
(and the sad part is's all true !! )

PS Yes Rested Gal... I'm still alive and kickin

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Plastic envy

Post by katnmags » Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:00 pm

Mike and friends,
I have been on CPAP and BiPAP for what seems like eons, Maybe since 2000? and have secretly amassed several boxes of miscellaneous 'breathing stuff'.

My first Sullivan CPAP, that I am certain only needs a fuse,
some poor fellow's collection of unused hoses, brain cushions, connectors, and whatnots - may he rest in peace -
and then the various and sundry masks and broken mask parts, the manuals, the hose hanger-uppers, the beaded and bedazzled doo-dads to connect my hose to the various hose holders, curlicue shoe laces, bungie cords, folded over duct tape, and whatever else I can come up with on a moments' notice when something breaks, something changes, or I have a bright idea after at least a century of never experiencing REM sleep!

You have inspired me to come of the storage closet and admit it... I cannot throw anything away, since I may need it in the future...( and I have )

My grandpa was a young man in the depression, and fresh off the farm to boot, which turns out to have been a great advantage for me! Common Sense and ingenuity are esssential to surviving this diagnosis and the DME insurance Deal... So, If anyone needs to make a small outdoor hanging grotto to house a statue of your favorite saint, or, like gramps - The Blessed Virgin Mary - just write and ask or his Old Ham Can Grotto Plans, and I'll get them to you as soon as I can. With ingenuity like that, how can I fail to keep that air coming, to keep that leak from leaking, and to stop taking my mask off in the middle of the night in sleepy frustration?

I may be called Darth Vader, or remind people of the criminal on Con Air; I may hear the phrase 'fava beans and chianti' a bit more than necessary,
and I may not need to bother with the negligees since they don't match my VPAP, but I am getting air at night, snorting less, waking up less, and frightening the neighbors much less, so I think I make a bit more sense during the day, and may live a few more years in cardiac health, which for this 50 year old gal is almost as good as chocolate!

Bottom line - I'm going to keep collecting my little stuff, and continue to make those fine adjustments; whatever it takes to get my lungs to fill with air on a regular basis every night... silicone, tongue depressors, Breathe Rights, Tie-backs for curtains, or whatever! although I may still hide my box of goodies lest the junk police question my good intentions!
Thanks for the laughs,


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    Post by j.a.taylor » Sat Aug 11, 2007 5:18 pm


    Thanks for the laughs.

    This is almost too funny. I'm a little obsessive, and if I start doing that, my wife's gonna hide the credit card.

    Then I'll have to go in search of the underground mask distribution network.

    Since I'm new to all this, you've showed me what I fear becoming.

    Here! here! To silicone and plastic!
    John A. Taylor


    Post by Guest » Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:14 pm

    Truly one of your best efforts! Had me laughing out well as nodding in agreement


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    Post by RosemaryB » Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:26 pm

    My name is Rosemary and I'm a silicone addict. It did start off simply at first. My first mask, then a "backup mask" just in case. Then my first backup machine. Then a standalone humidifier in case the other humidifier broke.

    When did I start staying up late, cruising the internet looking for cpap auctions, looking for mask auctions? It's all a blur. When did I begin stashing those masks and machines in different hiding places in my house? Hiding these purchases from friends and family, requesting that the "suppliers" send them in plain brown paper packages with no identifying markings. Using more than one mask in a night. I couldn't wait for the day to end so I could "use" the silicone. The roller coaster, highs and lows. Feeling good in the morning, then better. If the mask leaked, I'd have a low. Getting a battery for backup, just in case the electricity went out. Looking for solar panels to charge the battery. . .

    Then I began accosting strangers, trying to get them hooked (up), too. There was a man who was sleeping in a bookstore, snoring. I couldn't work up the courage, but then I did. Beginning every conversation with the line "Do you snore?" Finding their weak spots to hook them: "You say you have trouble remembering things? Have I got a deal for you?" "Oh, your blood pressure's high? I know a way to lower it."

    Kind of like in that movie, the Graduate, "plastic, young man, plastic." But now my dreams are of aliens, space travlers elephants. . .


    Mask: Swift™ LT Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask with Headgear
    Software: Encore Pro Smart Card
    Additional Comments: Alternate Mask: Headrest. Pressure 9.0. Aussie Hose, padacheeks, AHI: 0.0 on 12/26/07. Pillow-stuffed backpack=side sleeping & lower AHI.
    - Rose

    Thread on how I overcame aerophagia ... hagia.html

    Thread on my TAP III experience ... ges--.html

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    Post by gasparama » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:43 pm

    Mike, this is priceless!


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    Post by Bonnie » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:07 pm

    ROTFL......I'm trying to visualize the jockstrap....

    Mask: Swift™ LT Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask with Headgear
    Humidifier: S9™ Series H5i™ Heated Humidifier with Climate Control
    Additional Comments: Sleepyhead, Aussie heated hose, Pad A Cheek Products

    "People who say they slept like a baby apparently never had one"

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    Re: The Incredible Growing Mask

    Post by John_M » Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:24 am

    mikemoran wrote:
    Somebody please stop me before I Interface again.
    Mike, there is a way out.

    If you want to keep collecting masks, thats your business. If you want to stop collecting them, thats our business.

    Mike, you will know a freedom from purchasing more masks and a happiness with the ones you have.

    You won't regret all the masks you have purchased in the past and you won't wish to shut the door on the closet of masks you have.

    You will comprehend the word sleep and you will know slumber.

    No matter how far down your O2 level has got, you will be glad that it went there.

    That feeling of tiredness and mask leaks will disappear.

    These are some of the promises you can experience.

    But are you willing to pay the price to get these promises? Are you willing to go to any lengths ?

    If you are ready Mike, just keep coming back and more will be revealed

    John M
    Started CP Jan 10, 06. Orig AHI 37, now 0.4.

    Index for newbies at

    Sleep Apnea Wiki


    the incredible growing mask

    Post by gill » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:26 am

    I confess too! I'm a mask junkie, I'm even trialling the Liberty for Resmed in the never ending search for a mask that fits. If only we could all have an individually tailored mask!

    Thanks for the humour Mike, your posts have been a source of light in the dark night of adjusting to CPAP