I'm back in the PICU having spent exactly 27 hours "on the outside." After 42 days in intensive care with my 9-year-old daughter due to a cold that became pneumonia that led to a month-long intubation, we thought we were in the clear when we were transferred to rehab.
I believe the "vigil" saps families not only of their energy, but also their ability to make intelligent decisions. I've put together some tips drawn directly from how my son and I chose to cope with our three-week ICU waiting room experience. They may work for you.