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Dr. Andrew Ahmann is a Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition, OHSU and the Director of the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center. Impressive title. Even more importantly, Dr. Ahmann helped me make my diabetes Better.

Diabetes management is a constant exercise in wrestling your high-octane race car to somewhere close to the middle of the track. Like any race car, diabetes doesn’t really harbor any malice or bias one way or the other. Other than wherever the race car is going, it is going there very fast and you are along for the ride. As the driver of the vehicle, it is your responsibility, and obligation really, to keep it away from the immovable barriers that would keep you from continuing around the course. With diabetes, there is not a “stop” option. There is no option to walk home.

Your endocrinologist, your specialist in the field of diabetes care, is the only person you will ever meet who might know more about diabetes than you.

Not more about YOUR diabetes than you, but more about diabetes, the medical condition.

So my fast-moving diabetes race car was regularly flying off-course, in the dangerous fashion that race cars do. Race cars, and diabetes, don’t tend to do things in slow gradual observable measured fashion. They tend more towards the roaring dramatic “HOLY SHIT!” school of change.

Dr. Ahmann gave me some tools and ideas, not the least of which was a persistent urging to get on the insulin pump, to help me roll more consistently in the middle of the road. A little safer. Much less dramatic. As a person with diabetes I’m always quite sure I know everything about diabetes. Dr. Ahmann, in his gracious way, made my life Better by sharing with me a few things I didn’t know. He still does that today. He could tell me, “That’s stupid.” And he would be right. But instead he says, “There is compelling evidence that you might be Better off doing that differently.”

The Better point? It’s still your diabetes. You still get to choose to do whatever you want. But the more you connect with smart people, people who can help, the more Better you get.