When I was 12 I hit puberty. Well actually puberty hit me. Puberty was not very kind to me. I did not get acne. My hair grew in all the right places. My voice changed but not in an awkward way. My muscle mass grew. From reading this it sounds like I had a very normal almost good puberty. Well when I went through puberty I suffered from pubertal gynecomastia. Sounds bad doesn't it? Well let me tell you, for a 12 year old boy it was bad.
What is a gynecomastia? In simple terms it means I suffered from enlarged breasts. During puberty certain hormones get all out of sorts and get confused and start to give boys breasts. The estrogen based hormones once entrenched in the mammary glands decide to stay there and set up shop until the testosterone based hormones come in and kick them out. Basically the hormones fight over the space. In my case the male testosterone hormones, like any 12 year old boy, liked the idea of having breasts around and did not put up much of a fight. Besides they were busy making sure other parts were growing (and at the most inconvenient and awkward times I might add, like Algebra or Social Studies).
But I did not suffer from just a mere swelling of the breasts, no my big boobs were also complicated by little marble calcifications that developed under my nipples. That's right, I had big nipples. Not big round flat nipples. No, my nipples were pointy and stuck out from my chest, like big pink, slightly hairy, rock hard, Hershey kisses.
In the early 80's if you had a questions and needed to know something you asked my mom. My mom, in the 80's, was like Google. She did not know everything but she could provide you with at least 5 or so relevant stories to fit whatever the topic or question. I told my mom what was happening and she told me it was part of the process of growing older. She told me that one of my older brothers suffered the same thing and that it happens in about 30% of boys going through puberty. She then, because we were talking about puberty, tried to talk to me about the birds and the bees and "disgusting" things like vagina's and penises. Like I said, my mom was just like Google.
I was very self conscious about my nips. I always wore a T-shirt under my regular shirts. I never changed in the locker room after Gym class. I avoided pools and the beach. Not only was the size of nipples embarrassing but they also hurt like hell. The slightest pressure against my chest felt like jagged rocks were trying to pierce my nipples. I played football and just wearing shoulder pads made my eyes tear up. My big marble filled nipples lasted 3 years. It took three years for the male dominated hormones to win the battle inside my boobs.
Now that I am pushing 40 and I am somewhat settled in my activity it appears as though my boobs may be making a comeback.