- Come down with a cold immediately after turning in your thesis to the committee (two weeks before defense).
- Ignore cold, and/or assume it's allergies, as it's not too bad. Take the occasional allergy pill (week before defense).
- Do not use Afrin or other nasal spray before flying across country for thesis defense. Do not take ibuprofen because you're pregnant. Tell yourself that you're fine, the cold is improving, etc (four days before defense).
- Suddenly get much, much worse, and spend most of afternoon sleeping (three days before defense).
- Wake up feeling even worse, including a fever (two days before defense).
- Go to health services first thing in the morning, where the doctor confirms that yes, a viral infection went bacterial on you (two days before defense).
I feel better than I did this morning, which isn't hard. I'm kind of glad that I have a bacterial infection, because at least I can take antibiotics which will quickly clear it up. I just hope I can talk in 39 hours, because my throat is killing me now.
I do not recommend this.