Monday, 22 October 2012

I might have to cancel our plans – an auto email signature?

Over the last 13 years I have seriously considered adding the statement below as one of those auto email signatures. Instead of my phone number and address, this would appear at the bottom of every email:

“I’m very much looking forward to the plans we have just made. There is, however, a greater than 60% chance that I will have to cancel said plans. I will try to give you as much warning as humanly possible. I really do understand how annoying it is when people cancel at the last minute, so if possible I wont do this. But you see I have this bugger of a condition called migraine that is often unpredictable. I will avoid all my triggers like the plague before our meeting, I’ll stay in, be well rested etc but bam! I might wake up on the day feeling like there is a sledgehammer in the back of my head; having gone to bed the night before feeling fine. Similarly, the migraine might creep up on me as the day progresses meaning I’ll have to send you an annoying text and/or email cancelling at the last minute. And yes, I can send a text and/or email with one eye open lying in bed in the dark. And let me assure you this is far more inconvenient and embarrassing for me, than for you. And I will agonise over cancelling, I will have tried all my trusty tricks to avoid the ascent of this migraine, and probably taken far more medication than is sensible. I will probably also have had a conference call with parents. 

I also swear to you (on my kitten Chipster’s life) that I never, ever use a migraine as an excuse to get out of anything.

I am a Writer. I have an incredibly over-active imagination, believe me, if I wanted to make up an excuse to get out of meeting you I could do so much better than claiming a migraine. For example: I’d write to you and say that my Sister has just called me to say that she urgently needs me to drive to Kent as her son and husband have both broken their legs Tobogganing! (Actually this is kind of true…)

Anyway, the point is I will do everything I can to make our meeting and I’m really looking forward to it. But if I do cancel please know that I’m worried you won’t want to be my friend or make plans with me again as I cancel a lot! Please be my friend and still invite me to things! I’m really good company, I promise. But it probably is a good idea if we’re booking tickets for the theatre or cinema that we do it with your card… just in case I have to cancel at the last minute and you need to find a replacement.



If migraines and headaches are troubling you get help via:
The Migraine Trust
The National Migraine Centre

Coming up:
Nerve Blocks Of All Sorts!
I just live with my parents - I'm not in a cult.
Topamax - Part II


  1. Haha love this! Once again Victoria you have totally hit the nail on the head with your post (is that a good or bad phrase to use when talking about migraines?!!) I'm also totally with you about never using a migraine as an excuse. A few times people have said to me 'oh you can always pretend you have a migraine to get out of something' but I get quite passionate about not doing this a) it is horrible and b) I have so many real ones, I don't need to start making up fake ones - what if they start becoming true?!

    1. Exactly! People say the same thing to me which is why I swore a while ago never to use them as a fake excuse as I use them so often as a real reason to cancel! I'm always paranoid people think I'm making it up anyway! x

  2. I LOVE this too, you've managed to capture a serious issue with humour again. I've lost count of the number of social and work arrangements I've had to cancel because of the dreaded M. I've had friends turning up, thinking I am depressed, opening my curtains and demanding I get some fresh air, as obviously in the midst of a cluster of migraines the one thing you need is a 'day trip'! But constantly cancelling things at work and socially, even silly things like I've had to rearrange my loft insulation survey 3 times and still not had my kitchen lights put up, just show the huge impact this disease has on people's lives. It needs beating! And I can't imagine using a migraine as an excuse ever! x

    1. Hi Catherine, thank you! Um, wow - what lovely friends, not! Though I'm sure their hearts were in the right place.... yes I've often been told to just go for a jog, or try a new hobby! And totally understand about household chores etc being left... x

  3. I think the thing is most people's perception, understanding and experience of what they think migraine is, is that you have one, get up the next day feeling better and then don't have another for a good while. So when they come across someone like us it is a bit of a shock for them and quite difficult to understand. It maybe needs better PR! x


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