Scott, you have a good sense of humor which will stand you in good stead during the search for what Daniel rightly categorizes as the single most important item to concentrate on...the mask.
Don't rule out ones with the forehead pad. Trigonomically speaking..lol (those who've seen me struggle with the simplest math issues are laughing!)...the adjustment thingy on the vertical bar that supports the forehead pad is a very useful element for getting the right "tilt" of mask to face. With some masks (I've tried a bunch of 'em - some just for the "fun" of trying something new) the tilt adjustment ends up working well without even causing the forehead pad to touch the forehead at all...go figure!
At first glance (no pun intended) we'd all prefer nothing up there in front of our eyes. Actually, we'd prefer not wearing any kind of mask at all, but...oh well. Presumably the mask is going to be used when sleeping, not when up and about all that much, so it really doesn't matter a whole lot whether there's a vertical bar up front. It doesn't block vision so much that a person can't unhook the hose and toddle off to the bathroom with mask still in place.
The most important thing is getting a mask that is comfortable, as leakproof as possible without having to cinch the straps down tightly, and that suits you - vertical bar and forehead pad, or not. If you absolutely have to breathe through your mouth at night due to a nasal obstruction, then, yes... a full face mask (covers just nose and mouth, not the entire face) may very well be what you'll need.
The ResMed Ultra Mirage FF (full face) is my personal favorite in a full face mask. I used to wear it all the time until I decided to tape my lips shut to prevent mouth air leaking and mouth breathing. Then I could wear much more comfortable masks such as nasal pillows interfaces. The full face mask is stored in my stash of masks, brought out now only if I have a cold or congestion that makes mouth breathing more comfortable.
Try as many masks as the DME will let you try. And try them in as many of your own sleeping positions
as possible. If you are going to be fitted at the DME's office (durable medical equipment -- home health care equipment provider), take along your own pillow and blanket. Mask fittings done sitting up do not simulate the way gravity changes the position of muscles, tendons and skin (and yes, pockets of fat) of the face when you lie down. A mask that feels quite nice and isn't leaking while you're sitting up, can change into the mask from H*** when you lie down. Some masks lose their seal when you start tossing and turning, have a pillow pushing against the side of the mask, etc.
If they don't have a bed or couch you can lie down on, cast dignity to the wind, spread your blanket on the floor and lie down right there in front of God and everybody. Get them to hook a cpap machine using your prescribed pressure to the mask. Test drive the mask thoroughly, as long as you can, right there. Have the person assisting you hold the hose up overhead, out of your way, as if you were a fish on the end of a slack line...for easy tossing and turning under it without getting tangled up in the hose. Because that's going to be the best way to manage the air hose at home too - hanging it up on the headboard or wall. Keeps the weight of the airhose from tugging at your mask when you turn, or hose getting under you.
Simulating your sleeping position is especially
important if you have the misfortune of not getting with a DME that will let you try masks at home and swap over and over again until you find the right one for you in your own sleeping environment. The better DMEs will do that. But some are going to let you swap just once. Worse, some have a policy of: "Open the package, it's yours." You may have just one or two shots at selecting the mask you want, so don't let them rush you. Ignore comments such as, "This is our most popular." Or "We never get complaints about this one." Or "That's a good fit for you (while you're sitting up!)" That might simply be the mask they make their most profit on and push the hardest regardless of whether it really suits people at home in REAL sleeping conditions.
Be sure to jot down the size (including every word about the cushion size...like "Medium Standard
" or "Medium Shallow
") even for masks that you reject during the fitting. Make notes about the rejects too. You never know when you might decide to try a reject in the future, so it will be handy to have a note that said "x mask pressed too hard on bridge of nose". As you learn more and more about masks, you might find that "x mask" comes in other cushion shapes that the DME didn't have, or didn't offer to switch out for you to try. A brand/model you might not like during a fitting might be just the mask that suits you someday down the line, with a different cushion.
Of course, you can always do what many of us end up doing, if your DME doesn't let you keep trying masks at home and bringing back the ones that don't work out.... you can start looking at the many, many masks at online cpap supply stores (see where those voluminous notes about the sizes you try on and reject will come in handy?) and guesstimate what mask and what size will work ... spend money out of pocket for what you want to try. No prescription is needed to buy masks (or any cpap accessories like a heated humidifier) from online stores. Buying a machine from an online store is the only thing that needs a prescription. You'll see the same masks that you saw at the local DME priced at one-half or one-third the price. Supposedly, the "extra service" of personal fitting of a mask by the DME is one of the reasons for higher prices, but if they fit you with a mask that doesn't work and they say, "Sorry, you have to wait three months (or 6 months) before your insurance lets you have another mask..... well.
Hey, Christmas is coming. Make it easy for relatives to shop for you. Put a few masks on your list! LOL!!
Long post, I know. But it can be a very long night if you're fighting a mask that leaks and bores a hole into the bridge of your nose all night. Try as many masks as you can, while you can. Good luck!