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Where is Calalini?
She leans in to whisper her secret.
"Calalini is on the border between this world and my other world."
Jani's psychiatrist at UCLA, Dr. Karen Lim, has tried several medications. A whopping 300 milligrams of Thorazine manages to stop the psychosis, but it too causes dystonia.
Michael worries that the heavy doses of medication might kill his daughter. But without it, she might kill herself. Jani had recently told Michael that the temperature in Calalini had risen to 200 degrees -- a sign that her hallucinations are worsening. She also says that 400-the-Cat is being really bossy.
On a mid-April afternoon, Michael and Susan meet with Lim and Jani's social worker, Georgia Wagniere, to discuss the rejections from two residential facilities that primarily care for children who have been abused or neglected but are not severely mentally ill. No one wants to take in a 6-year-old schizophrenic.
"I feel like we're back to zero again," Michael says.
Susan proposes that the couple trade in their two-bedroom apartment and rent two one-bedroom units in the same complex. One parent would live with Bodhi and one with Jani on alternating days.
The group discusses the stress on the couple. Both Michael and Susan have relatives who were mentally ill, and both struggle with depression and take antidepressants. They receive no help from their families.
"It's been very taxing," Wagniere says. "It has disrupted your entire life; your finances, your mental status."
"I'm prepared to go the rest of my life like this," Michael says. "I'm not hanging on to the hope that she'll get better. My biggest fear is that she won't live to 18."
"I have more hope," Susan says softly, staring at the floor.
Bodhi begins fussing. Michael and Susan thank Wagniere and Lim and leave to visit Jani.
Lim gathers her papers and follows them down the hall. She has recently issued a formal diagnosis of child-onset schizophrenia. The case has tested the limits of the young doctor's expertise.
"Jani knows she is different from other children," she says. "She has a degree of insight. She says, 'If my parents don't love me, I'll go live with my rats.' "