Over the last 10 or so days, since my last cautiously optimistic post, here’s a taste of what I’ve been dealing with:
- Prescription drugs. New insurance for Medicare Part D means that the nice mail-order auto-ship/auto-refill plan (CVS/Caremark) that took so long to get right is out the window, replaced by another mail-order auto-ship/auto-refill plan (ExpressScripts) that I won’t be here long enough to establish, much less fine-tune. So I go to the local CVS (a participating ExpressScripts pharmacy), and beg for 90-day refills on all the meds I currently take, to last until I can connect with a French doctor to prescribe the same or similar meds that I can get on the French insurance plan, and it’s taken more than two weeks now to get the doctors and the pharmacy to start syncing up . . .
- Oh, yeh, because Medicare, and all its various Medigap Part B/Part D bits, only works in the U.S. Where I plan to be for another 12 or so days. So why did I sign up for those extra bits? Because if I don’t do it now, I can be denied coverage and pay punitive rates later on. So I take it, and pay for it, now in the off chance that I might be back some day, and don’t want to be hit with exorbitant premiums just when I need coverage. So there’s that.
- Then there’s the matter of shipping my stuff to France. The shipping company needs an inventory. If I want all-risk insurance, the insurance application needs an inventory. And customs needs an inventory. Even though I have the papers that say I plan to live in France for a considerable time so I don’t have to pay duties on importing my stuff. So creating an inventory means going through the stuff, in most cases making estimates (there are about 40 books on a bookcase shelf, which about fill a small heavy-duty HomeDepot box), and there are this many bookcase shelves and boxes and equivalents and multiply and add it all up comes to about 3000 books. Sounds plausible. On to the CDs, and DVDs, same drill. Then on to the Hawaiian shirts. Start with 120, less the ones I haven’t worn for ages and won’t wear again and will therefore recycle. But some of the remainder are going in my checked bag, and some I’ll ship separately, so how many do I count for the shipping inventory? Yeh, that’s where it gets dicey, and that sort of thing I really agonize over, even though no one else, I expect, really cares.
- Then there are the absolutely crucial documents that need to travel with me, and the less crucial but important documents that could lag a little, and the good-to-have-but-not-right-away documents; which bags do they go into? Same for the digital documents, and music, and videos. Copy the crucial docs to a portable hard drive and bring that with. And make sure the cloud backup service doesn’t interpret non-connected as deleted. . .
- Is it any wonder my head is spinning at all hours of day and night? And I know it’s probably really all under control, and will all work out, and I shouldn’t stress, but this is how I work.
- Oh, right, lists and lists of lists, mostly on Evernote, but some also on smallish paper pads that I scribble daily goals and phone numbers, and the day will come very very soon when it all either goes into my carry-on bag, or suitcase, or gets shipped, or gets shredded or recycled.
- And then I’ll find myself in France, and the deed will be done.