Feb 27, 2006


Yesterday, the water supply at my place smell like shit… yes "SHITTTT!!"

Not just in my college, it is over the whole Klang Valley… and it is really unbearable

if our water is really safe to be consume, please release the report… instead of making a stupid statement without any proof..

Fooji said he just washed his hands, and he smelled like "faecesman", wondering how smelly the girls would be in their long wavy hair full of sh*tty smelly water.

cannot eat chicken - avian flu

cannot drink water - shit water

cannot bath - shit water

cannot brush teeth - shit water

ok, i know, you feel like puking right now… go ahead…

i felt so alkalotic today thanks to yesterday puking…

Feb 23, 2006


today is the dateline/deadline for handing up our KKM forms. KKM - kementerian kesihatan malaysia or MOH ministry of health… my future boss after I bagged a decent pass in my coming final exam.

All their forms must be filled in black ink and it would piss them off if I use blue ink which i did. Therefore, I had to buy another form just to refill in black ball point pen borrowed from Jaya. Yes, I don’t have any black ball point pen. I detest gloomy black colour and only rejoice in the full blue of things. Oh, come on, even our national flag have blue colour, not black, unless you count the line in between the colours. "biru dalam bendera bermakna perpaduan".

I believe it is such a tragedy that I had started to feel displease (minor form of hatred) towards my future boss, even before I started working with them. Correction, under them. I guess it could be pretty cool working under a funny boss - i think I would really ease my revision some of the psychiatric lessons that I’d acquired in UMMC. blue ink, not black - probable OCD

KKM is also the one who is responsible for the placement for our houseman training. According to urban legend, none of my seniors from Penang who choses Penang hospital as one of their choices will be sent there. Sadly, people from other states was being placed there. And in the briefing few days ago by one of KKM’s konco-konco, he strongly detest people applying hospital which is close to their own home. I don’t understand what is the principle of placement? What’s wrong with letting us stay and serve the people at our hometown. As houseman (HO), we will have inadequate time to be with family, and if we were sent off to a faraway state, won’t the travelling time just kills off the major portion of our quality time with family.

Or they just take HO placement as an exhange program. "OK, orang pinang, biar dia pergi kelantan. Orang kelantan, biar dia pergi penang" I have no idea.

Well, not that I had major problem settling down at other hospital if penang hospital is filled up with penangites, but it is with people from other states…

Anyway, I don’t know and I don’t bloody care what strategy to get it, I will just give KKM my most sincere choice of hospital that I wished to serve as HO.

  1. Hosp Pulau Pinang
  2. Hosp Seberang Jaya
  3. Hosp Sungai Petani, Kedah

If in history, none of the senior from Penang had went back to Hosp Penang for HOship, I shall be the first.

And for the record, if my wish does come true, I shall shave my head bald, yes, bald, down to the last hair over my mold just below my left ear.

Feb 21, 2006

true true true

a forward from shirley gan:

Today, in Malaysia, there is no longer just the
Chinese. Along the way, the Chinese people
divided beyond dialects and religious faith. We now
have denomination within the Chinese. The major
three groups are Regular, Cina, and Ah Beng.

The Regular group is the minority, making up less
than 20% of the Chinese people. This group has
the following characteristics:
1. Speaks English as the first language.
2. Thinks the world owes them a living.
3. Uses the Internet more than the other two
groups combined
4. Loves the iPod and/or IKEA.
5. Watches one or more of the following TV
series: "Sex And The City","Friends", or "CSI."
6. Thinks that the Regular group is way larger than
it is and makes fun of the other groups, particularly
the Ah Beng group. Why? Because it’s fun.

Recent studies have also shown that there is a
growing splinter group within the Regular group
known as the CPWTTANC group. (CPWTTANC is
short for Chinese People Who Think They Are Not
Chinese.) This growing subgroup are considered
elitist by some and are found making statements
like "I wish I were in the U.S." or "This never
happened when I was studying in Australia."

They also tend to speak with an unidentifiable
accent. The women may also prefer to date white
men from foreign countries with the excuse that
local men just "don’t understand me" and have the
secret desire to
be taken away to the U.S. to live in a sitcom.

The second Chinese group, Cina make up
approximately 55% of the Chinese community.
(Cina is derived from the Malay word Cina which
means Chinese and is pronounced "chee-na". And
you will have to say it in a condescending tone for

This group is considered mainstream and
contribute to the numbers that reflect development
in the country. They are the masses in context of
the Chinese community. In other words, if you
want to sell something to the masses of Chinese
people, the Cina is it.

The Cina are identified by the following traits:
1. Speaks Mandarin or Cantonese as the first
2. Generally quiet, self-effacing, and obliging but
are actually shrewd and calculative.
3. Sees Taiwan as the place to be.
4. More likely to forward chain email to people in
their address book.
5. Goes to Halo Caf or Wow Wow Caf BY
CHOICE at least three times a year.
6. Has Astro hardwired to Wah Lai Toi.
7. Calls a music video an MTV instead of music
8. Knows all the dim sum dishes by name.
9. Seventy percent of lighting at home generated
by fluorescent lights.

The last group are known as the Ah Bengs. This
term was probably made up by the Regulars in the
early 80s during the cultural invasion that saw the
mass import of music and movies from countries
like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and to some extent,
. This phenomenon saw the more open-
minded and runaway members of
the Cina group defect into Ah Bengs and its
feminine equivalent, Ah Lian. They just took their
Alan Tam and Anita Mui a little too Seriously

Perhaps the most made-fun-of group not only by
its own Chinese people but by people of other
races, the Ah Bengs are often seen as people
living on the edge and have more flamboyant

One may identify the Ah Beng by these tell-tale
1. Built-in visual self-defence mechanism that
keeps people away from them.
2. Have enough amplifiers in their one car to power
speakers for six cars.
3. Hair not in their original colour.
4. Volume of voice is automatically five decibels
higher than everyone else.

5. Excessive use of the phrase "Kan Ni Na Bu
Ciao Chee Bai". (Although, to be fair, some
members of the Regular group have been reported
to use the phrase on a daily basis as well.)
6. Once a fan of one of the following groups:
Vengaboys, Dr Bombay, Aqua, or the Cheeky
7. Their Proton car does not look like a Proton car
due to modifications.
8. For the Ah Lians, have at least one bag
fashioned after a furry animal complete with the

So, which one are you???

I am a regular cina with some beng-ish moments. and god-bless (not using the word damn before my exam although i am not superstitious) proud of it!!

Feb 20, 2006

burning passion

never knew that my passion for medicine is burning fiercest just few days before my final exam. today had a very tiring, but satisfying day from the morning till the late evening… of which after my tiring academically-packed schedule, i spoiled myself with an hour of going to gym… now is the last few minutes of the pleasure before i return to guthrie studying room beside this lousy (paid for it but 50% of PCs here is actually just cpu-less monitors) computer room. Yes, i am taking time off not because i felt i’m academically immortal, but i think i have some sneaky way of getting above the system of examination, unless of course, the great profs of UMMC used this way before and trapped me into oblivion.

Anyway, here just wanted to pay a tribute to all my colleagues, especially to the people in my study group - they’re just darn professorial

thanks for all the teachings, the sharing, the guidance, the support (no this ain’t support group), and all the bashing, shouting, criticism, sarcasm, nonsense, disparagement, and blah blah blah… and not forgetting blah blah blah, too..

also i would like to apologize if i am so darn irritating, darn demanding, and darn nonsensical and darn @#%@#@#*@#…. you know…


from left: prof emma, prof poong, prof k’ng choo wei, prof fooji, me, prof lee chee hoong.

a brief intro

group name: previously considering FSG (fooji study group), but now contemplating HIBMIG (HIgh BMI group)…

just for contemplation: we have representation from major race, and also the major religion islams, hindu, buddhism (me and k’ng), chriastianity (fooji) and free thinker or taoism (lee)…

prof emma: excel in being the serious one in every discussion, wrote down every short case and long case that we had, toning every nonsense down to the minimum firmly, not fiercely. Always end by saying thank q to us, but we should be the one who said thanks to her for keeping us on track. the buffer.

prof poong: need i say more, the power poong. teacher and guidance, tok guru with vast knowledge. always having the sinister gawk and smirk whenever i crack a joke or being sarcastic

prof k’ng: power-packed guru of consistency and spent his time being very intensively learning lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of things continuously, yet keeping a good loud cheer and laughter everytime we’re on discussion.

prof fooji: the leader, the chief sms-er, the MC in most of our group seatings, the practical guy, the non-minimalist (this you gotta read the pacemaker magazine to find out, or you can ask him).

prof lee: an equal to poong, master in knowledge, theory and practical stuff. keep stressing the practicality of clinical setting instead of the make-believe approach in examination. rarely join the past year theory paper discussion, but maximum input from him in short cases.


adhoc discussion with visiting consultant, prof ho kim wah, and prof stephen chieng. prof fooji decided to spare his upper torso for our discussion on gynaecomastia (ok, a joke, for goodness sake, chill out).

special highlight to the floor i am staying:

do not forget to marvel at the rock table and chairs which were moved up to this 2nd floor of our block at the middle of the night by one or maybe two of the people in the photo. I wouldn’t know, because i am sleeping at that time, dreaming perhaps. only in this floor

and behind it, is the ‘update to our society’ notice board, where great current political and social issues will be posted up there by some mysterious but dedicated writers. only in this floor



hard to believe, this is what prof pang (potential viva, future health minister) commented on us, through the sms to prof fooji, although he is just 5 metres away from us in his room.

moments in CNY

ust wanna share some pics..


that’s my cute beloved grandma. guess what are we doing?

no! posing for the camera ain’t the answer.

my grandma is playing baccarat together with us…


she’s the big winner in the baccarat… she’s my cousin sister… doesn’t she looks younger than me? looks can be deceiving…

Feb 15, 2006

paed's valentine

here’s how my friend celebrated D-day…

I had a wonderful date with a model on this Valentine’s Day.

Early the morning we met, and we get straight into action. Today’s drills involved getting dirty, wiping her dry, sucking, blowing, lubricants, and cotton dressing for tying. My aim was to get her heart racing then make her cry!!

find out more…

Feb 14, 2006

weird, getting weirder

a weird comment from someone about someone who said…

"that day i see fooji’s study group (indicating my study group) is weird lar, got 1 indian guy, 1 malay lady and 4 chinese guys."

i would have a thousand, perhaps a million words to comment back to it, but now it’s near to my final, can’t blog too long, must start studying like mad d.

cabinet reshuffled. mostly changes over the deputy ministers. cabinet also quite weird. so many malays, some chinese and samyV.

here’s a weird way to show their love on the big V day…

totally not fair: smaller belly vs smaller breast… (of course, who am i to judge)

Feb 13, 2006

to question is bliss

a message in the friendster reminds me of a ward round with a great neurologist in UMMC, Dr. HT chong, humble guy with a good teaching skills especially in pathogenesis and basic sciences.

he asked, "what do we know about communism?"

we: "share everything" "they dun believe in any gods"

he: "karl marx would cry in his coffin, listening to all your pathetic answers.(ok, pathetic is added on by me). he just came up with a theory or law, a law about history, where community is divided into 4 classes and as it goes, each class will take turns to topple the class above, and so on and so forth. Therefore, the last class, which is the working class is consider the latest and last class. But that doesn’t mean the lastest thing is the best. Nevertheless some country is doing well with communism. You all read the history books without any questioning, that’s the biggest mistakes. (ok, i added biggest, too). When we see patients with different symptoms, we must also questioned them and reach a diagnosis"

I’m amazed, and the same time, sad because of our incompetence, my incompetence.

the message that i received is

FW: From Mr Allen Smith(Manager of Friendster )

Original message from Vincent:
> ———————————-
> Original message from Candy:
> >
> > ———————————-
> > Original message from Li Ying:
> > >
> > > ———————————-
> > > Original message from Ryan:
> > > >
> > > > ———————————-
> > > > Original message from ClaireIII:
> > > > >
> > > > > ———————————-
> > > > > Original message from rachel:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > ———————————-
> > > > > > Original message from Eyan:
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > ———————————-
> > > > > > > Original message from vivien:
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > ———————————-
> > > > > > > > Original message from -HaRicK
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > ———————————-
> > > > > > > > > Original message from
> > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > ———————————-
> > > > > > > > > > Original message from wei
> > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > ——————————–

> > > > > > > > > > > Original message from
> > > > > > > > > > > > —————————–

> > –
> > > > > > > > > > > > Original message from
> > > > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > > >
> ——————————-
> > —
> > > > > > > > > > > > > Original message
from Luv
> Feelin:
> > > > > > > > > > > > > >
> —————————–
> > —–
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > Original message
> Camera
> > > > > > Man:
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
> —————————
> > ——-
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Original message
> Ying:
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Dear Friend,
> sure how
> > > > > > true
> > > > > > > is
> > > > > > > > > this.
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Message: from
mr allen
> > > > > > smith
> > > > > > > > > > (manager
> > > > > > > > > > > of
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > friendster)
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Friendster
system is
> > > getting
> > > > > > to
> > > > > > > > > > > crowded!!
> > > > > > > > > > > > We
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > need
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > you to
forward this
> to at 20
> > > > > > > > people. I
> > > > > > > > > > > know
> > > > > > > > > > > > > this
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > seems like a
> > > number,
> > > > > > but
> > > > > > > > we
> > > > > > > > > > > need
> > > > > > > > > > > > to
> > > > > > > > > > > > > find
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > out who is
using their
> > > > > > account.
> > > > > > > If
> > > > > > > > > you
> > > > > > > > > > do
> > > > > > > > > > > > not
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > send
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > this to at least
> > > Friendster
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > members, we
will delete
> > > > > > your
> > > > > > > > > account.
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > WARNING!
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > We
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > want to find
out which
> > > users
> > > > > > are
> > > > > > > > > > actually
> > > > > > > > > > > > > using
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > their friendster
> accounts.
> > > So
> > > > > > if
> > > > > > > you
> > > > > > > > > are
> > > > > > > > > > > > using
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > your
> pass
> > > > > > this e-
> > > > > > > > > mail
> > > > > > > > > > to
> > > > > > > > > > > > every
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Friendster
user that
> you
> > > can.
> > > > > > IF
> > > > > > > > > YOU
> > > > > > > > > > > DO
> > > > > > > > > > > > > NOT
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > PASS
> > > > > >

for the truth, kindly go to the frequently asked questions segment or


thus, please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please stop forwarding this hoax around. (friendster should pay me for helping out to stop this hoax)

Feb 12, 2006

never knew

never knew malaysian can be such a productive lots…

if you really love your prophets, be diligent and be honorable…

why waste your time?

thinking of it all… the western ppl vs islamic ppl, who’s benefiting?

of course, the non-western and non-islamic ppl…

the chinese and indian ppl perhaps… but there also may be collateral damage…

meaning for those who are living with the western and islamic ppl, like us…

never knew malaysian could have such a big vision

too bad it’s aborted.

Feb 9, 2006

all hell breaks loose

here something I copied over from the blog my pressured pal ai’sah (pronounced as ai*(click)sah…

Subject: A scientific moment for your day - College Science

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Toronto chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well. Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.One student, however, wrote the following: First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives two possibilities: 1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose. 2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct…leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God." THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A".

isn’t it the best joke you ever heard?

just about this time, i was supposed to be practising my short cases with my study group, but just like mamat, I am feeling rather muak of all the short cases, wishing there would be time for reading on my own in a silent corner of the study room or library. hell tired, but after this last 3 weeks, it will be heaven again, I hope.

today, the sister nurse of 12U shared her grudges over the administration team of UH, something about the wheel chairs issues. Apparently, the loan of wheelchairs to patients was always accompanied by the handing over of the IC of one of the relatives or family members. This is to ensure the return of the wheel chair and this practice had been there for several decades, until recently, someone from ward 5UA complained by saying,"only police can keep my IC", and the admin leader decided to abolish this good practice, by sending out a notice to all the wards in the hospitals without realizing the repercussion of such an action.

Today, ward 12U had only 1 wheelchair left, 7 gone missing, somewhere around UMMC, or around the vicinity of UMMC, or perhaps the patient had took it home. who knows, right?

thus the mission of sending weaker patients for scans today were delay due to insufficient wheel chairs.

tidak berfikir sebelum bertindak.

Feb 6, 2006

living with disease

Exam coming up soon. Schedule damn pack, own studying time, revision, etc etc..
so decided to just Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V this article from new york times…
February 5, 2006

Diabetic Brothers Beat Odds With Grit and Luck

Gerald Cleveland, 90, left, and his brother, Robert, 85, diabetics since childhood.

When Robert Cleveland was a boy, in place of a birthday cake his mother wrapped an oatmeal box in colored paper and put candles on top. "I never had any sweets as a child," he said. "Never."

Since he was 5, he has lived within the strict boundaries imposed by diabetes, knowing that if he loosened his grip on the disease it would ravage his body — the terrifying complications, the shortened life span. For years, the only diabetic he knew was the principal of his grammar school, who lost one leg to the disease, and then the other, "and I remember wondering how long it would be before I lost mine."

Then his big brother, Gerald, got diabetes at age 16 and also adopted a set of meticulous lifelong habits. He scribbles sugar readings and insulin doses in a logbook, tests the level of sugar in his system seven or eight times a day, avoids desserts and simple starches, exercises and has always stayed reed-thin. "Even so, I never expected to live to be 50," he said.

Both brothers have done a bit better than that: Gerald turned 90 this month, and Robert will be 86 in March, and they are in fairly good health for their ages. Experts say that they know of no other childhood diabetic who has lived to be as old as Gerald, and no one who has survived with the disease as long as Robert has — almost 81 years.

"My main reason to stay alive," Gerald said, "is to prove to young people there’s a way to live with diabetes, to live well."

As diabetes poses a rapidly rising threat to Americans’ health, the lives of these brothers from Syracuse offer the ultimate diabetic success story, with telling insights into what is possible, and at what cost. The Clevelands have lived long and healthy lives in part through extraordinary discipline in diet and exercise, but they have also suffered medical complications and harrowing close calls.

Scientists who have tracked the brothers and other long-term diabetes survivors say that while they almost certainly have some genetic advantages, what sets them apart just as clearly are vigilance, hard work, self-sacrifice and determination.

"They’re a little bit obsessive about their records and their diets," said Dr. George L. King, research director of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School. He heads a study of people who have lived with diabetes for at least 50 years — more than 400 of them, so far.

They arrive at the center, he said, carrying "years and years of records, sometimes decades," showing medical tests, blood sugar readings, insulin doses, exercise, even daily food consumption. "Most of them do quite a bit of exercise, they are more careful about their health than even most diabetics, and they also have a very positive outlook."

Nearly all of these patients have Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, which usually develops in childhood. But the lessons learned from them also apply to Type 2 diabetes, a much more common ailment that usually begins in adulthood and is closely associated with obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise. As Americans grow heavier and more sedentary, Type 2 has become the nation’s fastest-growing major disease.

Controlling diabetes still demands a rigorous set of daily tasks and choices, but they have become vastly easier in the last few decades, and millions of people manage them well. But millions of others do not, greatly increasing their risk of crippling complications and early death.

Even when the Clevelands were small, doctors understood that a rigidly controlled diet and regular exercise could stabilize blood sugar and reduce the amount of insulin needed. Many people had neither the means nor the mind-set to follow such instructions, but the Clevelands’ mother, Henrietta, did, and she taught her boys well.

"The doctor prescribed the diet I should be on, and my mother was most careful about sticking to it," Robert Cleveland said. "There were very few carbohydrates, a quart and a half of milk every day, and there were lots of vegetables and proteins. She weighed everything I ate on a scale. I could have 20 grams of bread at breakfast, which meant I couldn’t have a complete slice."

Gerald calls himself a compulsive reader of food ingredient labels, appalled at both the contents of packaged foods and the ignorance of consumers. "I get so frustrated with some people, even some people with diabetes," he said. "They don’t look at the labels, they don’t know what a carbohydrate is or even really what a sugar is, and they don’t understand how the body uses food. You have to understand these things."

Gerald recalls that for his parents, his two brothers, his sister and him, "life revolved around Bob and his diabetes, and all the work that was involved, and the fear and the need to watch out for him."

What makes the longevity of the Clevelands and some other diabetics all the more remarkable is that they lived most of their lives in the dark ages of diabetes care. When they were young, the disease was expected to lop 20 years off their lives. There was none of the modern gadgetry for measuring and controlling it, and the reasonable expectations for diabetics were amputations, blindness, kidney failure and heart disease.

Yet against immense odds, the Clevelands endured, even thrived, living to have careers, long marriages, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

"To live as long as the Cleveland brothers, through those times when things were so much worse than they are now, is incredible," said Aaron J. Kowalski, scientific program manager at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. "Yes, it’s genetics, but it’s discipline, too. It shows what you can do."

The Clevelands arrived at the right time in history, but barely. When they were born, Type 1 diabetes was still a death sentence — within weeks or months in most cases, or in a few years on what amounted to a starvation diet. Type 2 could often be controlled with diet and exercise, but otherwise, it usually led to years of debilitating illness and a shortened life.

Then, in 1922, scientists at the University of Toronto isolated insulin in a form that was effective and safe enough for human use. Suddenly, thousands of people were delivered from the brink of death, but the lives ahead of them were hard. Controlling diabetes was hard and painful work in the early decades, and what would be considered good control today was simply out of reach.

Disposable sterile syringes with fine-gauge needles did not exist; diabetics injected themselves with glass syringes and thick steel needles, reused again and again, and boiled each time to kill germs. Many people developed infections and abscesses from imperfectly sterilized syringes.

"I remember my mother sharpening the needle each time on a whetstone," Robert Cleveland recalled. "But sometimes it was like getting stuck with a knitting needle."

In the early years, the insulin, which was made from ground-up pancreases of pigs and cows, was so loaded with impurities that the doses needed were several times as large as those used today — and the bigger the dose, the more it hurt. The strength of the insulin was also inconsistent at first. Even after a few years, when the product became purer and more predictable, some people suffered serious adverse reactions to it.

Diabetics suffered a roller-coaster effect of blood sugar highs and dangerous lows. Until the development years later of long-acting insulins that allowed more stability, doctors advised patients to interrupt their sleep to inject themselves, rather than let their sugar levels climb through the night.

Though medical laboratories could test blood samples for sugar content, patients and most doctors’ offices could not. Instead, they relied on urine tests, which were far less accurate. For decades, the Clevelands and millions of other diabetics heated urine on kitchen stoves, then added a chemical solution that turned various colors depending on the amount of sugar.

Any diabetics who were aggressive about controlling the illness ran a serious risk of taking too much insulin, which can push blood sugar low enough to cause a coma or death. The alternative was to let sugar levels run abnormally high, which over years damages many parts of the body.

Both brothers remain devout about diet and exercise, and have stayed remarkably active. Robert, a former accountant, is still an avid bicyclist. Gerald, who was the assistant schools superintendent in Syracuse, no longer plays tennis, but he regularly attends an exercise class for the elderly.

Despite their caution, diabetes has given them frequent troubles and scares. When Gerald was in his 20’s, a fever caused his blood sugar to soar, which, in turn, hindered his body’s ability to heal and fight infection. He nearly died before doctors gave him a new drug, penicillin.

Forty years ago, Robert went into a coma from low blood sugar and came near death after a hike in the Colorado Rockies. Just a few weeks ago, Gerald’s blood sugar dipped low enough that he grew dizzy and fell in his apartment, and needed five stitches to close a gash on his head.

The Clevelands have developed some of the circulatory and nerve problems in the feet that are so common to diabetics, and both have had some toes amputated. Gerald has undergone several operations for a rare condition, most prevalent in diabetics, that causes the hands to ball into fists.

They also give much of the credit for their longevity to their wives, who helped them stick to the regimen and saved them from low-blood-sugar episodes. Robert’s wife of 58 years, Ruth, is a nurse. "She probably knows more about diabetes than anybody I know," he said.

Gerald’s wife, Mildred, died in 2002, after 62 years of marriage, but even as she was dying, he said, she kept the habit of checking his skin during the night for the profuse sweat that might signal low blood sugar. "One time when she had basically been bedridden for weeks, she found the strength to get up and go to the kitchen, and she poured orange juice and brought it back and made me drink it," he said.

Both brothers make a point of meeting with younger diabetics, giving them hope and encouragement.

"It hasn’t been easy," Gerald said, "but I’ve had a wonderful life."

if diabetics can live that long, i decided to live longer…

in cantonese, tai nan pat sei, pit yao hang fuk (that which does not kill you, will only makes you live better)