The 34-year-old missed last weekend's 28-6 win over Scotland with a chest infection.
"You almost wish you'd had something worse than a chest infection," he told BBC Sport.
"I'm experienced enough to know how to handle things like this, I've dealt with similar things before. I broke ribs against England, and had to withdraw late the next week from a game against Italy. It was very frustrating and very disappointing then, and the same last weekend.
"I've worked hard to get into a position where I could play in the Six Nations, so to miss out on the first game was frustrating and disappointing."
Ireland sit top of the Six Nations table following last Sunday's victory.