Man Suffering From Severe Headaches Lived With Bullet in His Skull for 20 Years

A young Chinese man who had been experiencing severe headaches lately was shocked to learn that he had been living with a bullet in the left side of his skull for about two decades.

Xiao Chen (pseudonym), a 28-year-old man from Shenzen, had been suffering from random headaches for as long as he could remember, only lately they had been getting more frequent and more severe. At first, Chen thought that the pain was caused by his lack of sufficient sleep on weekdays, but sleeping wasn’t the answer, especially since the headaches kept him up at night. Finally, things got so bad that he decided to go to the hospital, where doctors discovered a rather bizarre cause of the pain.

While performing an MRI, doctors at the Shenzhen University General Hospital discovered a strange object lodged in the left side of Xiao Chen’s skull. Closer inspection revealed the small object to be a metal bullet, so the hospital staff asked the patient if he had any idea how it had gotten there.

Interestingly, Chen remembered that when he was about 8-years-old, he and his brother were playing with an air gun at home, when the gun accidentally went off, shooting him in the side of the head. He and his brother were afraid of being scolded by their parents, so they didn’t say a thing, and the wound was covered up by his hair, so the parents couldn’t really see it. Plus, the wound wasn’t too painful, so he eventually forgot about it.

Doctors told the 28-year-old that he was lucky to be alive, as the bullet was really close to the temple, but hadn’t fully penetrated the skull, or hit the brain. He was scheduled for emergency surgery at the end of last month and the 20-year-old bullet, which measured about 1 cm in length and about 0.5 cm in diameter, was successfully removed. Chen has since been discharged and is recovering at home.

This weird news story reminded us of a similar case we featured recently, about a man who lived with a spoon tuck in his esophagus for a whole year, without even knowing it was there.

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