Thank you all for your candles, thoughts, etc. It has worked: his hands and armpits are completely dry! The surgery went well but they forgot to call me, so I was waiting downstairs getting more nervous by the minute. I decided to go upstairs and asked a nurse. Finally I heard everything was fine. Half an hour later Ron returned to his room. He felt okay. During the night he had pain and tightness of the chest as a result of the deflating of his lungs one by one. He says it feels like having bruised ribs. He 'just' has to breathe good and deep, the pain will go away after a while. He has two stitches on every side (about 10cm under his armpits); those can be taken out in two weeks by our own family doctor. He has to call the clinic next week to let them know how he is.
I had a reasonably good night. I was very very tired after a long day, so I slept before my head touched the pillows. I was awake from time to time, because I missed Ron. We hardly ever sleep apart. Somewhere in the middle of the night I was wide awake and felt restless. I think that must have been when Ron had his pain attack. In the morning I checked out and drove back to the hospital. Ron had to wait for the doctor to give permission to go home. The nurse gave him a painkiller for the drive and a prescription for more painkillers. I drove home in 2 hours. Ron is resting and hopefully sleeping upstairs and I'm catching up with my (e-)mail and other stuff.