A human life span includes many stages. They don’t necessarily fall into a recognizable pattern, however.

If you manage to get to your 80s you will recognize the stage you are currently working on has become something of a challenge.

Suddenly the rules have changed. Santa was right making a list and checking it twice.

Eighty is the new game of “Jeopardy.” My favorites include setting up non-conflicting doctor’s appointments and combining different doctor’s requests for blood samples — no reason they can’t abuse our poor old veins at the same time.

And don’t forget the new thrill-a-minute gadgets waiting in the wings.

Start with the heart monitor that’s ordered after the powers that be recognize a few misplaced heartbeats. You can be sure the entire 24 hours wearing it, your heart will get organized and just perk along with a perfect beat.

MRIs sound like a runaway tank hurling itself around your prone body. Makes one wonder, scientifically speaking, why they can get all those “Pringles” in one can but can’t come up with a way to ease off on the racket. Maybe a 3,000-mile oil change is in order.

CAT scans are just as annoying — quieter but still providing a fabulous claustrophobic sensation. Bone scans are a nodding-off dream.

Most fun are the sonograms as they give you a chance to see your working parts working. If you don’t have a sense of humor, you may not want to play that game.

Eye doctors get in on the fun with their miscellaneous necessary drops; one certainly has to be aware of all those folks climbing into their cars in the parking lot — oh my, Russian Roulette.

Sometimes waiting to register for a test in the hospital, my husband has given his name to the monitor as Mr. Wonderful. When the green light shows they are ready to register the next person and the monitor calls out, “Mr. Wonderful,” even the ill folks waiting have to giggle.

After the test, my husband returns and asks me, “Mrs. Wonderful, are you ready to go home?”

Sometimes the monitor, if it is the one with the sense of humor, says, “Mr. & Mrs. Wonderful have left the building.” Good enough for another giggle. Very often giggles are better than pills.

Barbara Jenni is a resident of Bridgton.