I could use memory loss after phone loss
There’s a certain amount of panic involved when I lose my cell phone.Especially this last time.The adrenaline starts to rush, my face begins to flush, and the expletives gush.That’s a lot like me watching a Colts game if they’re losing.Or me trying to dress for a party.Since I seem to lose my cell phone on a bimonthly basis now, imagine my horror last week when I discovered it not in my possession.Here’s what caused the adrenaline rush. My phone stored photos of me wearing black leather chaps and a matching vest courtesy of the Aspen Valley Harley-Davidson fashion show. And I had a few personal text messages I really had no plans sharing with anyone except a person from the opposite sex who will remain unnamed.Imagine my red face when the phone showed up at one of my favorite watering holes/restaurants and I hadn’t deleted a single image or message.Enter the need for a drug called propranolol.And insert a few expletives.Propranolol is a beta blocker most often prescribed for hypertension. But, according to Sunday night’s “60 Minutes,” the drug is undergoing studies to prove it can weaken memories caused by painful or traumatic events.Like losing a cell phone.And having a bunch of people pass it around for like an hour so they can laugh at me posing for the camera, leather-clad cleavage and all.Sort of like Paris Hilton losing her Blackberry.Except I’m no hotel heiress, I don’t have Nicole Ritchie’s phone number in my address book, and my ex-boyfriend didn’t make a sex tape of us and distribute it on the Internet.I imagine that would be very traumatic.In the “60 Minutes” broadcast, correspondent Lesley Stahl reported that our memories are like Jell-O solidifying in our brains. During that process, memories can become strong or weak, depending on the amount of the stress hormone called adrenaline we have coursing through our bodies.That’s why I can’t remember what I wore last Tuesday.But I know exactly what I was wearing in those pictures of me as a biker babe.The theory behind the drug is that propranolol blocks the adrenaline produced as a memory is made, making it weaker. In clinical studies, the drug has been administered to people who have serious events occur which cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).In college and this is no lie the student hospital diagnosed me with PTSD after I fell on the ice and hit my head. Then I passed out in someone’s closet because I didn’t know where I was or how I got there.Luckily that was pre-cell phone era.Like a tall, hot guy disinterested in long-term commitment, propranolol has my name written all over it. And like my girlfriends who don’t agree with my choices in men, propranolol has its opponents.Stahl reported that the President’s Council on Bioethics condemned the propranolol study, saying “our memories make us who we are,” and “‘re-writing’ memories pharmacologically … risks ‘undermining our true identity.'”I’m not so sure a victim of rape or abuse would agree, Mr. President.The Council on Bioethics also added, “It risks making shameful acts seem less shameful or terrible acts less terrible than they really are.”No drug not even propranolol could make posing for cell phone pics in leather chaps less shameful or more terrible than it sounds.Trust me, my memories serve me right.April E. Clark is thinking of resurrecting the Zach Morris mobile phone so she doesn’t lose her cell again. Who could misplace that thing? She can be reached at 945-8515, ext. 16601.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Colo. CO
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Sticks in the mud. Overly cautious. Obstacles to progress.