A self-proclaimed piercing addict was ecstatic to find a nose ring he had lost five years ago while sleeping. However, he was not nearly as excited to learn that it somehow managed to get lodged inside his lung.

According to the New York Post, 35-year-old Joey Lykins woke up one morning to discover his nose ring was missing.

"I woke up, and my septum piercing was gone, and I couldn't find it anywhere. I'd had it pierced for three or four years by that point," he told Kennedy News.

"I thought maybe I'd swallowed it. I looked everywhere. I flipped the bed over. I did everything," he shared.

Eventually giving up, Lykins replaced the piercing and life moved on.

Five years later, however, Lykins woke up in the middle of the night with an unusual cough.

"I was coughing so hard that my back was starting to hurt. I felt like something was blocking my airways, and I thought I was sick," the Cincinnati native explained.

Lykins went to the hospital thinking he would be diagnosed with a respiratory infection or possibly pneumonia.

Doctors found no sign of infection. Instead, what they discovered took his breath away.

The X-ray results showed metal in his chest. Upon further inspection, it turned out to be his missing nose ring, lingering inside the upper lobe of his left lung.

"The doctor came in and showed me the X-ray picture and said, 'Does this look familiar?' I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me! I've been looking for that.' I didn't know what was going on, but I never [would] have thought that's what it was!" he told Kenny News, according to the New York Post.

"I don't know if it could have caused damage, but it was wrapped up in scar tissue, so it didn't look like it was going anywhere," he added.

Following the X-ray, medical professionals scheduled him for surgery with a specialist.

Today, Lykins is breathing a little easier following a bronchoscopy to retrieve his buried treasure.

"They put me to sleep, put a camera down my windpipe with a little grabber, grabbed it, pulled it out, and gave it back to me," Lykins explained of the procedure.

Lykins decided he won't be putting the nose ring back in its original place. Instead, he has agreed to "keep it as a souvenir."

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