Today I have resumed all normal activities as if I never hurt my hand. Yes, it's still a bit sore, but it's the kind of sore from a slightly pulled muscle instead of a sharp and piercing pain. I expect that tomorrow it will be almost completely healed and as long as I'm careful in all my lifting I won't make it much worse at work. By the middle of the week I suspect I'll have no sign of pain at all.
I am a big believer in using an injured area as long as I'm not making the pain worse. If the pain stays the same or gets better, then I increase the load until I am back to normal. Two things happen when I do this. One: my body learns a new way of completing the task while using a different muscle group (my forearm was a bit achy last night from compensating for the sore knuckle), and two: I heal much faster than if I let the injury stiffen up. The only time I immobilize an injury is right at the beginning when the pain is at its maximum. Even then I'll slowly rotate the area, flex or clench the area, and stretch it out if possible. I only put weight on it once the pain has reached its apex and is starting to get better, even incrementally better. I really do think that by keeping the blood flowing to the area it helps to heal it faster and that when I baby it too long my body grows accustomed to disuse.
Even when I have a flu or cold I do something similar. I am aware that I need more rest that usual so I take it. But the very minute that I find I'm storing a bit of adrenalin or am becoming impatient with the healing, I get up and do something. Anything. One load of dishes, sort the laundry, wipe the sink down, answer one email. All of this is assuming I'm at home, of course :) I go to work no matter what. In almost five years at this job I haven't taken a single day off for my own illness. Before that I ran a dayhome, and in seven years I took off only two days for illness. I simply don't get sick all that often, and when I do I heal very quickly. Anyway, once I've managed to complete a single task I reassess my body. Do I feel weaker, the same, or better? If weaker, then I rest. If the other two, then I consider another tiny task. I do this until I'm back up to normal, usually within a day or two.
As for going to work while sick, I only do it if I'm capable of it, which so far is most of the time. If I had food poisoning and needed to remain within four feet of the bathroom I'd stay home. But a flu where I'm stuffy and a bit achy, I just go to work and handle it. And I seem to get only one serious flu about every five years. Normally if there is a bug going around I'll feel stuffy one day, the next day that'll be gone but I'll feel achy, then that'll be gone and I might be sneezy. So instead of getting all the symptoms at once I get only one a day for about a week. And even then they are not serious enough to medicate most of the time, just an annoyance.
Tummy bugs don't seem to bother me either. I dislike throwing up so much that I will avoid it at all costs. If I feel even a tiny bit nauseous I will not eat. If my stomach sends a signal that it needs to get rid of its contents I tell it to use the back door, please. And it does. Well, it has for about a decade now. As for bad food, the last time I ate something bad it was undercooked chicken. Instead of any symptoms, my belly just felt a bit full and bloaty. I opened the back door the next day so the chicken could make its exit. And it did, completely undigested and as if I'd just swallowed it. It was almost like my intestines said "oh, we can't use any of this, coat it with some lube and send it away!" I am very aware that I have an excellent immune system.
I've passed this system onto my boys as well. They are not sickly teens nor have they ever been sickly kids. Compared to other kids my boys are remarkably healthy. They bounce back from injuries very fast and fight off viruses very easily. Well, except J's lungs. They don't recover from colds or flus as easily but they eventually clear up and it doesn't usually interfere with his day-to-day life. Overall, the three of us are very fortunate to be this way :)