The pain in her right shoulder was unbearable and, without health insurance, Kathy Myers was desperate.
So she sought .25-caliber relief.
In her basement bedroom on Thursday, the 41-year-old woman shot herself in the same shoulder with a .25-caliber handgun, hoping it could get her the medical help she said she needs.
Instead, she's back home, still in pain, and could face criminal charges.
The bullet pierced the front of her shoulder and exited the rear, lodging in an ice pack.
She said she didn't feel any pain, just burning.
"It just felt warm. That's all," she said.
Myers said she told her girlfriend's mother to call 911.
Myers said she hurt her shoulder about a month ago when her 80-pound golden Labrador went after one of her little dogs.
She tried to stop the dog, which jerked her right shoulder.
"I felt it pop in three places in my collar bone," she said.
Doctors gave her some anti-inflammatories, but couldn't do much more than that, she said. "I didn't have insurance, so I couldn't get a CT-scan or MRI."
Myers is among the 1.2 million uninsured people living in Michigan, a number that has remained steady for about three years, state health officials said.
The pain, she says, is so excruciating that she can't sleep.
She said she couldn't afford to see a neurologist.
Myers says she lost her job with a hazardous-waste removal company in southern Indiana months ago.
She said she hasn't qualified for disability or Medicaid.
It was Thursday, she said, when she came up with the idea of shooting herself.
"I figured if I did something that would not necessarily make it life-threatening but make it imminent danger that something would be done," she said. "I wanted them to fix me. I just wanted to be fixed."
She hoped the bullet would force doctors to treat what she believes is a rotator cuff injury.
Instead, emergency room doctors at Lakeland Hospital treated only the bullet wound and sent her home.
On Friday, Niles Police said they would talk to prosecutors to determine what, if any, charges to file against Myers.
Now, she's having second thoughts.
"It didn't take the pain away," she said. "I figured it would take the pain away from the rotator cuff, where at least I could focus on something else, and maybe they would fix me, you know. I guess I should have shot a little lower and got the bone and the artery."