Knowing is sometimes different from doing- Part II (Sickness and how to deal with it?)

I lay on a hospital bed waiting for doctors to see me after falling from my time-trial bike in a cycling training. I dislocated a bone in my right hand. I wasn’t dying at that time, but painful enough for me to re-think what life is about. I think I had figured it out on that day!

Key takeaways:
– We all get sick and this is a normal process for human bodies to learn viruses;
– It’s not hard to get over sickness, but often there is no short-cuts (although we all look for it!);
We all know we should rest to recover, but many of us don’t do this. Why not?
Health comes first, then family, and then it’s your career. This is the golden rule for life.

I was sick last week. My son asked me: “Why do you get sick? You are an Ironman.” Well, I could do 3.8K swim, plus 180 cycling, and then ran a marathon (42.2K) in 15 hours, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t get sick. Being sick is just a normal part of our lives to train our body to learn different viruses so we could fight them back next time they show up.

I took a day off last weak and did very little on that day; I rested for most of the day but checked my emails briefly to ensure that no ‘life-or-death’ emails waiting for me while I was sick. The decision to take a sick leave was hard because my calendar was almost full during that week.

In such a situation, most of us look for ‘short-cuts’ to recover. However, the fact is that there is no short-cuts. You could take medicine but they actually don’t ‘cure’ your cold. For most cases, it’s your immune system that’s doing the hard work to fight the viruses. The best medicine as most doctors will tell you is drinking water, eating nutritious foods and sleeping.

We don’t only make mistakes (again and again) in looking for short-cuts to recover from sickness, but we also make mistakes in making other decisions to help ourselves recover. Since my calendar was almost full last week, taking a sick day off would affect my work; I knew that. Over the years, I’ve learned that I’d rather take a day off and delay some works than dragging myself through works and sickness at the same time. For me, taking a sick day off would allow me to almost recover in two days. Then I would be back to work. I used to drag myself through sickness while trying to finish my works at the same time. It was painful and took longer for me to recover. Not worth it!

The funny thing is that we all know we should rest in order to recover from sickness, but many of us don’t (or can’t?) do this. Why not? Because we think work is important; perhaps more important than our health?

Most of us are ordinary people and I believe that without me, the Earth and the society will keep spinning. If I choose not to do something good for myself, then who will? If you lose health, then what does your career and fancy title mean to you? Steve Job said: “Death is the single best lesson I’ve learned in my whole life because it showed me what’s important and what’s not.” Career and money is meaningless if you don’t have health.

The priority of life should read as: health, family and career. Unfortunately, most of us don’t learn this until late, including me. Luckily, it’s not too late for me yet, so I take a sick leave and you should, too. ^_<

Dr. C. Richard Wu @

8 thoughts on “Knowing is sometimes different from doing- Part II (Sickness and how to deal with it?)

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  1. Interesting reading Dr Wu.
    So true what you say and I’m always guilty of not wanting to take the necessary rest.
    Perhaps you could send a copy of this blog to a close friend of ours with a busted kneecap.
    I almost wonder if it was written with him in mind.
    See you in the ocean.

    1. Haha…. Lucky Phil. I wrote this blog for my wife actually. She was sick last week but refused to take a day off (her calendar was as full as mine). She ended up spending 2 days sick at home last week. I wonder whether her last week would have been different if she took a sick day off in the beginning. Perhaps.
      For our close friend, I keep telling his this principle between recovery and training but ….. Knowing is sometimes different from doing, isn’t it? ^_<

  2. Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I’m experiencing situation with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting similar rss problem? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

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