yup, that's about the worst possible timing.
March 21, 2011 1:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm 3/4 of the way through my Advancement to Candidacy exam, with the oral exam coming up this Friday. Aaaand as of last night, it seems I've got something flu-like. Any suggestions for how I can best take care of myself, sleep well, and hopefully not have too much brain fog on Friday morning?

I've got aches and serious fatigue, a sore throat, and I think I had a (relatively minor) fever last night. I don't have much in the way of congestion or coughing. Probably pushing myself so much over the last month has caught up with me.

Normally I'd just wrap myself up with a big blanket, some tea, and a lot of TV, but that aint gonna cut it this week. I could postpone the exam if I get much worse, but it would have to be pushed back a number of weeks and I really, really just want to be DONE. I've got a lot of prep to do this week, though, so having my body operational would be ideal. Perhaps most importantly, I need to be able to think clearly during the exam - maybe adrenaline will do it, but maybe not.

Any general suggestions for how I can get through it? Meds that have really helped you, etc? I'm not at all opposed to medication, as long as it's legal; I can probably get any reasonable prescriptions if necessary.

posted by you're a kitty! to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
posted by k8t at 1:14 PM on March 21, 2011

Best answer: I'd go to the doctor asap. i came down with the flu about a week before an exam. i tried to ignore it and just will it away (good idea right) and by the day before the exam, i was completely miserable and finally went to the doc. she told me that had i come in earlier they could have given me tamiflu but that i'd waited too long and it wouldn't do anything now.

i don't really know what tamiflu is or what it does. i was under the impression that flu= virus= can't do anything about it, but i guess this stuff maybe shortens the duration or reduces symptoms. just try to do whatever you can now because if you try to ignore it like i did, it might just get a lot worse. i didn't have a cough at first but that came like 3 days after i first felt sick, and that's what really made it difficult. couldn't sleep well, etc.

just looked up tamiflu and according to pubmed it works if you've had symptoms for less than 2 days. so if i were you i'd go to the doc asap!
posted by GastrocNemesis at 1:27 PM on March 21, 2011

Tylenol for pain and fever. IANAD, but I have been told by my doc that I can take ibuprofen as well as Tylenol (acetaminophen) to control pain, but be careful not to throw in any other medicines that might contain one of these.

For anyone preparing for a candidacy exam, sick or not, I'd say to be careful not to do anything to disrupt your opportunity for sleep. (Anxiety is plenty disruptive already.) So no alcohol, no caffeine after noon.

Rest, do your prep in repose if you can. The morning of, take your pain meds, have some coffee if you drink it, and take a break from prepping to clear your head. You can do this!
posted by Knowyournuts at 1:35 PM on March 21, 2011

Started getting sick a week before orals, and out of sheer desperation started taking Airborne in large quantities. Cleared things right up. It may have been a coincidence or a placebo effect, but fwiw I was free and clear by the time the big day came.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:52 PM on March 21, 2011

I know the studies for zinc just seem to be for colds but it really helps for the flu too. I usually go for 1/2 a tablet since I read that 50mg is the max dose you should take and you get some from food. It really helps shorten the amount of time you're sick and makes you feel better.
posted by stray thoughts at 5:05 PM on March 21, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for your help, folks. I ended up getting Tamiflu and sleeping A LOT, and either one or the other helped - I felt a lot better as the week went on, and passed my exam :)
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:41 PM on March 26, 2011

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