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Man's Annoying 3 Year Itch Turns Out to be a Knife Stuck in His Back

Update Date: Mar 21, 2013 02:34 PM EDT

What Billy McNeely thought was just an annoying, old itch was actually a knife blade that someone had stabbed in his back three years ago.

For nearly three years the 32-year-old Canadian carpenter had suffered recurring pain in his back and has been mysteriously setting off metal detectors every time he walked though.

It wasn't until early Monday morning- when McNeely's girlfriend's fingernail got caught by the tip of the blade poking from underneath his skin as she helped him scratch his sore spot, did he finally connect his bizarre itch to a fight that happened three years ago.

McNeely had reportedly been stabbed five times at a birthday party in April 2010 when he got into a fight with another man over an arm-wrestling match.

After the horrifying discovery, McNeely and his girlfriend immediately rushed to the hospital.

"I jumped in a cab and went straight to emergency," McNeely told the National Post.

McNeely is considering suing the health center in Fort Good Hope where he went after he was stabbed in 2010.

He said that the doctors there told him that the strange lump on his back was caused by nerve damage and that the detectors were responding to a metal fragment lodged in his bone.

"They stitched me up and bandaged me up," said McNeely. "They never took X-rays."

He said that the pain and itch caused by the old wound never went away. He said when he initially asked doctors why he was constantly setting off metal detectors they dismissed it as a small metal fragment that had lodged in his bone.

While McNeely and his girlfriend were asleep in bed on Monday, he said the pain suddenly came back.

"I sat up, I tried to rub it and scratch it the way I always did, and then the tip of my nail caught a piece of something solid, something sharp," he said. "My girlfriend got up and she started playing around with it and she maneuvered my back in a certain way and the tip of a blade poked out of my skin."

After McNeely and his girlfriend rushed to the emergency room, doctors managed to dig out a seven-centimeter long blade that had been stuck in his back for nearly three years.

McNeely says he is recovering well and that doctors told him he didn't have any permanent damage.  But he's unhappy with the way he was treated by the health center in Fort Good Hope. He said he had explained his problems to doctors and nurses countless times, but no one bothered to get to the bottom of his ailment.

"I walked around for close to three years with this thing in my back," he said. "They brushed me off."

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