I'm home from the hospital for the evening. They drained about 2.3 liters of fluid off VH's lung (not OUT of it, but OFF it), which is more than they drained last time, a few weeks ago. No wonder the poor guy couldn't make it up the stairs-- the surgeon said his lung was almost completely compressed. That had to be wretchedly uncomfortable. This time they sealed the pleura (the membrane around the lung) so it won't happen again. As I said below, this doesn't take care of all his problems, but it'll go a long ways toward making him more comfortable for a while, at least.
Sadly, the surgeon said they might not let him out on Christmas Eve. Even if he's not around in the morning on Christmas, I'm hoping they'll let him come home sometime during the day. Ordinarily we go to visit family for Christmas, but given his health, this time family is coming to see us... and VH will be most unhappy if he can't be here. So fingers crossed that they let him out, if not on Christmas Eve, at least sometime Christmas Day!
Oh, and when I got home I discovered my icemaker had malfunctioned and there was water all over my kitchen floor. Boo. Oh, well, the floor really needed scrubbing anyway *grins wryly*.
And a big THANK YOU for all the nice notes (here and on other blogs around the blogosphere) and emails. I really appreciate all the support. You guys are awesome:-).