29 May 2014

The Mask Challenge



After a smooth 2 years with a perfectly-fitting Respironics Comfort Classic M mask for Vera, the time has come, yet again, to hunt for a new one.

If only there were a next size up, an L size. Alas, there isn’t. So I’m back in the big worldwide web of masks, hoping to unearth a gem for Vera.

Why not ask a doctor? I have. He points me to the sleep therapist at the hospital.
Do they have any masks that fit her? Yes, but it’s been discontinued and no longer in production.

So what should I do? Approach Respironics and Resmed (the two main suppliers in Singapore) direct. Done that too. Sales people have come to the house with their suite of masks, tried them on Vera and said, ‘Sorry, I’m afraid we’ve nothing for you’.

The closest fit offered by the Respironics sales guy is the Profile Lite Gel mask (which I already have), a bulky triangular cup that I know can’t be the best I can give to Vera.



And so the online shopping starts.

Vera needs a full face mask. But guess what, they don’t make them for kids. (Are there no kids who wear full face masks in this world?)

No choice, I hone in on the largest size of adult nasal masks.

I print out mask sizing guides, cut nose-holes out, and bring them home to match Vera.



Online orders require prescription. So I have to write in to her doctor to get one.

Place the order and pray that the mask is the magic one that turns out right for her.

Online orders come with their share of problems. We’ve received shipments of yellowing masks, definitely old stock, masks that are asymmetrical in fit, masks that are defective and leaking unusually from parts that don’t quite fit.


Online mask order - defect on the top, plastic piece out of place

Time is running out.

Already we have cut into her current mask but the hole can barely cover her lips.

Please, please let there be a mask out there for her and let me find it.

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