17 May 2009

Try To Mask It

After the scuffle at the hospital with the mask, we did two things: Firstly, get a smaller, less intimidating one for Vera. Second, play pretend that this was a cool new toy.

This is the IQ 3-point headgear Nasal Mask from US company SleepNet. This free size mask is meant for adult noses, but because Vera's mouth stays open when she sleeps, she needs one big enough to cover her nose and mouth. This little contraption set us back by $250 (USD170). Ouch.

When sleeping time neared, we tried blowing the jet of air from the mask at her face. "See Vera, aircon!" "What a fun toy! Touch here, nice right?" ...and then slowly covering it over her. She tolerates it for a while, then struggles. Something new always takes time.

After she'd fallen asleep, the challenge began. I cover her with the mask as gently as I possibly can. Doesn't wake. Okay, let's figure out the straps now. By the dim light, I try different tightness to keep it securely fastened. Oops. Girl is disturbed, turns the other side, mask goes out of place. Start over. It took me 1 hour to get to the picture above. Hooray! 30 minutes later, girl turns again, mask shifts, air leaks, girl pushes mask away, remove mask, start over. Fixing it the second time was easier though. Everything gets easier with practice.

4am: Vera awakens with a panicked cry. I pull the mask off. I repeat the drill a while later.

5am: So far so good: Regular breathing, no air leaking, no sweating. Hmm...My stomach is growling.