The House of God - Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Samuel Shem
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The House of God.
This section contains 372 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)

Chapter 18 Summary

On April Fool's Day, Roy gets transferred to the MICU, the intensive care unit. He learns about "Ollie" the machine that spits out the EKG readings on the ward. He also meets up with Angel, the nurse who had slept with the Runt. He finds himself working with Jo, who has a special interest in cardiology.

The consultant to the unit is a staff cardiologist named Pinkus who is into health and fitness. Pinkus runs marathons and tries to ask every patient if they have a hobby. Pinkus is a fanatic about health and running.

Roy meets his various patients, including one who has a fatal arrhythmia and who just wants to go home because no medication has worked on her. He meets a patient on a ventilator who came in for a pimple on his knee and now, due to the treatment of his physician, was in total body sepsis. Roy is horrified by the severity of his patients' illnesses.

The last patient he sees is a BMS who caught a cold and then developed pneumonia, and was now on a respirator with dialysis and a pacemaker. He was dying. Fearing he would catch what the BMS has, Roy feels like he is dying, too. He's convinced to start a new program of running and eating better by Pinkus. He feels like he's part of a manned space program working in the MICU and likes the machines there.

Berry is still worried about him and worried that he hasn't grieved properly over Pott's death.

Chapter 18 Analysis

Roy is relatively snatched from the jaws of cynicism and remorse by the MICU, where there are just machines to be dealt with and by Pinkus, who convinces him that running and hobbies are good things. He still is surrounded by death but the gomers are gone. The death is more sterilized now, so he comes to begin to cope a little better. He's dealing with the fear of his own death and is dabbling in whatever he can to keep from dying himself. He's come to be used to people being in the hospital due to the errors of their physicians, and he's still a bit cynical about that.

This section contains 372 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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