Andrew Lwanicki may have found the greatest job ever by literally having to do nothing but lay on his back for 70 days. Unfortunately, the duties that come with this job sound worse than us slackers had feared.
As a part of NASA’s continued experimentation on space versus human muscle and bone, Lwanicki experienced weird tests beyond simply lying down. Muscle twitch tests, MRI machines, blood samples and breathing carbon monoxide. This was all before having to start the real experiment of lying flat for 10 weeks.
What followed was having to sleep on a six degree horizontal angle, which is not as simple as you’d think. Then the headaches and back pain began to set in. And of course if he had to use the restroom, there was no standing for that either.
When I finally called for a bedpan, I decided I had hit rock bottom. It’s impossible to maintain even the slightest bit of dignity while crapping in a horizontal position; doing so simply defies the human anatomical design. As I struggled on my little plastic shit pot, I couldn’t help but reflect upon the fact that my new bathroom was also my dining room, living room, and bedroom for the next two months.
Oh, and after all of that, what was Lwanicki’s first meal? Soup.
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Within a week, he had finally started to adapt even though he admitted it was near impossible to do anything constantly slanted at a six degree angle.
Lwanicki had actually written his experience in a column for Vice, which we’re only covering a small percentage of here. He goes on to talk about how fun taking a shower really is during his NASA stay.
Taking showers consists of dousing myself with a hand-held shower head, and it’s especially hard to clean my back, legs, and feet. Reading books is exhausting, since I have to hold my arms outstretched in lieu of lifting my head up. Using my laptop is equally strange while lying down. Every time I brush my teeth, I feel like I’m going to choke on the toothpaste. Then I have to spit into a cup, but it inevitably dribbles down my cheek and through my beard every damn time.
I have to admit, at first sound, lying down for $18,000 sounds pretty tempting. But after reading about his continued experiences, maybe not so much.
Read more at VICE.
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