It seems the medical community is having a meltdown. Not a day goes by without some disclosure on the latest information about what you should omit or include in your health profile. The latest AARP Bulletin cover story screams headlines about what 10 tests to avoid. I canít go over all of them due to lack of space, but here are a few that most of you are aware of.

It seems the medical community is having a meltdown. Not a day goes by without some disclosure on the latest information about what you should omit or include in your health profile. The latest AARP Bulletin cover story screams headlines about what 10 tests to avoid. I canít go over all of them due to lack of space, but here are a few that most of you are aware of.

Over the years I have had some of these tests multiple times at the insistence of my doctors. Now weíre being told a yearly pap test is not necessary, and women of average risk only need them every three years. What exactly is average risk? Bone density tests for women 50 to 65 may be a waste of time. The ultimate irony is that some of the medications for bone loss can create a host of issues including thigh bone fracture, heartburn, muscle pain and necrotic jaw. It makes you wonder ďwhoís on first?Ē Strength training works on bone density, but unfortunately most people would rather pop a pill then spend time in a gym.

What really blew my mind was that according to the article ďthereís little evidence that having an annual checkup can keep you healthy. Many tests that doctors perform - to diagnose anemia, liver disease, or urinary tract infections, for example - donít make sense unless thereís a reason to suspect a problem.Ē They are not suggesting that you never see a doctor, especially if you suspect your ill. Herein lies the conundrum. Blood pressure and heart disease are often silent until itís too late.

The AARP magazine decided to let you do some testing on yourself. See if you can smell peanut butter through your left nostril while your right is closed 10 inches from your face. If you canít, you could be on the road to dementia. Try getting up from the floor from a sitting position. HA HA! Can you open a jar, sleep well or recognize the famous? Can a 13-year-old recognize Bette Davis?

Hereís some of my tests:

* Do you laugh often, especially at yourself?

* Does your life have meaning

* Are you altruistic?

* Are you having fun?

The answers to these questions might not lengthen your life, but I can assure you they will improve the quality.

Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at www.stressed.com.