Remote Work After Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

This is a guest post written by Michelle P. You can learn more about Michelle’s experience with fluoroquinolone toxicity on her episode of The Floxie Hope Podcast – https://floxiehope.com/2017/07/17/floxie-hope-podcast-episode-22-michelle/. You can also read about her fluoroquinolone toxicity journey on her web site, https://barefootaya.com/. 

 

When I was floxed in July 2016, I was working a very high stress, physical job in Los Angeles. I worked on film sets for over 12 hours a day, usually 6 days a week. It was an excruciating position as a healthy person, but as a floxed person, it was much worse.

For the first month I was floxed, I only had fatigue for the month of July (I had taken Cipro in late June), so I didn’t know anything was wrong and I had continued working, trying to get extra sleep by going to bed earlier and earlier. I usually went to work around 6AM or 7AM and came home around 7PM-9PM. By earlier and earlier, I mean that at one point I went to bed at 8PM to wake up for a 7AM call and I still felt exhausted. “This job is killing me!” I thought… but it was the Cipro.

Anyway, about a month into it, my arm went numb, then the rest of my body, yada yada. The fatigue was so bad that I could barely stand at work and I started becoming super anxious, partially from the raging neurotoxicity I didn’t yet know about and partially from a very understandable reaction to feeling your entire body slowly become numb. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me, so for the first few days, I continued to work and refused to drive. What if I would become paralyzed, like with Guillain Barré, or something? I didn’t know.

Fast forward to being bed bound at my parents’ house with tendon damage, panic attacks, and the ability to stick a needle in my arm only to feel nothing (this helped for the hundreds of blood tests I received – no exaggeration.) My parents lived in rural Upstate New York, a much different place from the Californian city I called home.

I was nervous, not just for my health, but for my finances. I had done enough research on Fluoroquinolone Toxicity at this point that I was confident in my ability to heal… or at least that I was trying my best. We would see about the outcome. As for my finances, I had just spent $1000 to ship my car across the country (I still couldn’t drive) along with flight tickets and thousands of dollars in medical bills, waiting for a collection agency to pick them up. Oh, and I had 5 figures worth of student loans due in a week with my bank account in the red. Film set work, contrary to popular belief, isn’t so glamorous and it doesn’t pay well.

The YouTube videos I watched and the stories I read from other floxies were from people who were married to a partner with health insurance, from people who were already retired, from those who had savings accounts with more than a couple thousand dollars, or from people who were ‘so grateful’ that they had the ability to work from home.

I couldn’t work from home at all for my job at the time. My job was all in person: moving set pieces, walking cast to the stage, coordinating meals for the crew, organizing paperwork, etc., so I lost my job and I was left with nothing income-wise.

After posting on Facebook updating my extended network about my health status, my words reeked of anxiety. I received a private message from an old college friend that went something like this: “Hey, I’m guessing you need a job that you can work from home right now.”

He was reading my mind. “I’m not sure if my current job is hiring, but they will be. I’m quitting next week. I can refer you.”

My friend hooked me up with a job writing video scripts and editing video for newspaper articles. It paid $15/hr, which wasn’t great, but it was something to hold me over. I could make my own hours and I had to work a minimum of 20 hours. It was perfect. I took the job.

Unfortunately for floxies, covering the news isn’t really great for chemically-induced anxiety. I wrote scripts for news articles about deaths, politics, makeup routines (why), and unnecessary celebrities like The Kardashians. It was soul-sucking and once I started healing, I would notice that it induced my anxiety, my hands and feet would go numb again, and I would have panic attacks later that day. Thanks, Cipro! I quit the job.

Months later, I needed a new job and I wanted something that gave me as much freedom as this job had. Another friend of mine who was traveling in South America told me that she was teaching English as a Second Language to Chinese kids online. That seemed interesting, so I asked her for more information and she ended up referring me for the position.

What’s great about this job is that it has even more flexibility since it has no minimum or maximum amount of hours you can work. There are incentives for just about everything and the company cares a lot about their employees. Although you work from home as your own boss with no other coworkers, there are teacher groups within the company website and on social media that can answer your questions, commiserate with you, and give you a community to fall back on.

You don’t make a curriculum, you don’t need to buy anything, and you don’t need to sell anything, either. The only requirements are that you have a working computer with a webcam, a stable internet connection, a Bachelor’s degree, at least a year of teaching experience (could be anything from tutoring to being a ski instructor), and experience working with children. That’s it. How much you want to put into the job is up to you.

I currently work at three different online ESL companies:

VIPKID : Teach kids for around $20/hr on average, Bachelor’s degree and native English speaking required. Growing rapidly, largest online ESL company. Ref code: MICHE0384

gogokid : Teach kids for around $22/hr on average, Bachelor’s degree, online teaching experience, and native English speaking required, must teach at least one class a week. Brand new company. Ref code: YH2HDTPA

Cambly : Speak with advanced English speaking adults for $10/hr. This is mostly conversation practice, no curriculum required. No qualifications. Ref code: mischa5

I am so grateful for these companies for keeping me afloat during hard times and allowing me to work for myself in the best way possible. Now I’m mostly recovered, but I plan on sticking with them for the long haul. I had a flare up a few weeks ago and I didn’t have to call in sick. I didn’t have to lose money. I could just sit in a chair and teach English from my home, even with inflamed, damaged tendons.

I wish I had known about this opportunity when I first got floxed because it is such a low-stress job and it pays decently, unlike some of the other work-from-home options out there.

If you want to learn more, and/or you’re interested in applying, please feel free to email me at barefootaya@gmail.com. I can give you tips on your application and walk you through the process.

 

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4 thoughts on “Remote Work After Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

  1. L October 12, 2018 at 8:49 am Reply

    Interestingly I was looking into these kinds of teaching jobs recently. I am a stage actor, and after being floxed…BADLY was not able to do that for several years. I still have issues I am dealing with, and the stage work really doesn’t pay the bills anyhow. Thanks for the names. I will look into them.

  2. carnationcat October 12, 2018 at 9:39 am Reply

    What a great article–thanks so much! Even if not floxed, some of us not feeling our best need options like this. My only problem is no bachelor’s degree, and therefore half the pay. I know I’m a good teacher, and my English has always been top-notch. I may still try it.

    Over about 30 years of work experience in many offices, just being naturally curious and intelligent, my lack of a degree never really held me back. I was making $25-27/hour for many years at a market research company, mainly doing PowerPoint presentations that were more like detailed reports. But I was laid off as the company was failing, and now I’m confronted by so many job advertisements that specify a bachelor’s degree. Since I don’t know the people personally, I can’t prove to them that it’s not necessary! 🙂

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing your experience. I had looked at some of these jobs but never heard from someone successfully making a living from them.

  3. Daniela October 12, 2018 at 1:48 pm Reply

    This is a fantastic topic but the companies mentioned are not the best. The lesson times are China time, there is a ton of free work involved, and always an excuse not to pay. Also no safeguards for the children about what kind of adults they are being put into online relationships with.

    But please keep informing us of any other opportunities you come across!!!!

    • Michelle Polacinski November 20, 2018 at 4:52 pm Reply

      I have to respectfully disagree. The companies offer training, professional certificates, and you are never required to do work for free. Some teachers choose to go above and beyond, decking out their classrooms, or going for higher certifications, which are not paid. I’ve chosen not to do that and I’ve made out fine. I also use a minimalist approach with props using real objects around my house. The times are in BJT, so it’s either early morning or late night. I have never not been paid for my work. Thank you for addressing your concerns! I’m sure others are afraid to jump into a company across the world, too! I was so sketched out at first, but felt better when my friend told me about them. I’ve been with VIPKID for almost a year now and it’s my main source of income.

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