I always knew I was bigger. If the training bra in third grade wasn’t enough of a hint, the ill-fitting shirts in eighth grade were blaring warning signs. And when I say ill-fitting, I mean battling-to-stay-closed-we-need-more-bobby-pins-stat type of ill-fitting. But it wasn’t until I was 17 that I finally heard the term for what I was: heavy-breasted.
It was my first appointment with a new doctor, my first “grown-up” doctor, if you will. The nurse practitioner walked me through all of these seemingly outlandish procedures, including measuring my bone density with what looked like a rubber pole. But the strangest part of the appointment was when the nurse had me get into a hospital gown and lay on the table, with the front undone. As she got me situated, another nurse entered the room wheeling a small machine, and the two instantly got to work. The first nurse grabbed a small sterilizing cloth and started wiping my breasts in very methodical movements, gently massaging different areas. She then applied a soft goo and rubbed over it with a small wand, glancing at the monitor on the machine. “We do this to check for cysts,” she said swiftly, “for all of our heavy-breasted patients.”
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