First of all, I want to thank everyone so much for their replies to my posts. I have good news! Yesterday, I received lots of compliments at work, some of which concerned the particular outfit I was wearing, but the one I want to remember and celebrate the most is the one from a supervisor in charge of QA. About the middle of the afternoon or so, she tapped me on the shoulder and told me that I was doing a great job and that they were very impressed. Her job as QA editor is to find mistakes, so this was particularly significant. She has sent me a few E-mail messages with little things that I've gotten wrong, which I actually appreciate very much, but I have been surprised at how few mistakes she picks up in my reports since so much of the material was unfamiliar to me. I swear, after all I've been through, all the uncertainty, sleepless nights, problems with busses, getting lost, trying not to forget any steps with the new computer systems and being so uncertain about the future, I was so happy to get a compliment like that that I nearly started crying with joy. I can say one thing for sure. I have worked my ass off for the past month trying to make this all work. There have been days where the stress level has driven me to almost total exhaustion and made my head feel like it was going to blow off. Since the beginning, I have always wondered how I was actually doing. I didn't think I was doing too badly considering the fact that I came from an ambulatory care background for which you don't need as much of a medical terminology knowledge base. I have, of course, been concerned about my line counts, and yesterday was particularly worrisome because it seemed I was spending an inordinate amount of time looking things up at the beginning of the day. I also was unusually sleepy because I had not slept well Sunday night. Also, there are many times when I wonder if I'm doing things right or how the hell I ever got this job in the first place. The thing is, I never think I'm doing well, or at least I doubt myself all the time. I mean, it would feel strange to me to say, hey, I'm really good at this, because I don't think I really have the right to say that when I know full well there are people out there who are much better than me. That's why the compliment comes as such a surprise, and also why I want to remember it, to hold onto it as something very valuable. All of a sudden, the landscape is changing for the better, and I feel much more positive about the future. Good news is very often in short supply, so when I get some, I just have to document it for myself and for the whole world.
I am still getting lost, but not nearly as much. The problem seems to happen when I pass through halls that are open on both sides. When there are walls close by, I can hear the sound bouncing off as I pass, which gives me a sense of direction, but when I pass through big open spaces, I tend to veer a little left or right, just enough so that I end up in the wrong place. This is especially problematic in the lobby, where there aren't many landmarks and where there is constant activity to distract me. I have heard that many blind people will veer like this, but they are aware that they are doing it so that they can correct. Unfortunately for me, I don't seem to be aware when I am veering, and many times, veering even a little either way can mean that you end up walking through a totally different hallway than you wanted. I don't know what to do about this problem. I have an orientation and mobility specialist coming out Friday to work with me, and I will ask him if he has any suggestions. I know that a guide dog would help in this situation, but I'm not sure I want to go that route because you have to take off for a whole month for the training, which I cannot do yet having just started a new job. Also, although I love dogs very much, I'm honestly not sure I want the responsibility of caring for one, and I'm not sure it would be fair for the poor dog to have to lie under my desk all day while I work. I haven't totally ruled this out though.