From a deep sleep, I was awakened by my dad’s voice saying, “Where’s my duck?” Huh? As my mind slowly tried to process what I just heard, a little more loudly he called out, “Debbie, can you come here? I need you to find my duck.”
Dad’s had hallucinations in the past. And, he’s been a little confused at times lately. Coupled with the fact that we had just brought him home from the hospital, I wasn’t quite sure what was up. Shaking my head and opening my eyes, I confirmed that I was awake and was not dreaming. From the sounds of it, he seemed to be pretty insistent.
The Hunt for the Duck
Walking over to dad’s side of the bed, I could see he was trying to sit up. He looked at me and said, “Hey, can you find my duck?” “Dad, what do you want? There’s no duck here. You’re home in your bedroom.”, I calmingly tried to reassure and reorient him.
“I know that.”, he said. As I stood there half asleep looking at him, he clearly was becoming agitated. Helplessly, I motioned for him to lay down. He resisted saying “C’mon, you know, my duck! It’s the plastic bottle I pee in.”
Oh my gosh! The urinal. He wants his plastic urinal we brought home from the hospital! Okay. Got it. Now, where is it?
I could tell he really needed to go to the bathroom and I didn’t want him to get up and fall. That’s why we put his urinal right there next to him on the nightstand. So, I’m thinking, “Where did that thing go?”
A Lesson Learned
I did find the “duck”. It had fallen when dad reached for it and slid under the bed. Once everything was settled and dad had privately used the urinal, I sat down next to him on the bed and asked, “Dad, why did you call the urinal a duck?” He looked at me like I had 2 heads and said, “Because that’s what it is called!” I decided to just go back to bed and figure it all out later, once I knew dad was safely tucked back into bed.
In the morning, I suggested to mom that dad might have been a bit confused. Telling her the story, she politely told me, “That’s what it’s called. I’ve always called it a duck too!”
Okay, this is news to me. So I got serious and asked dad what the deal was on this “duck” thing. He told me that during the war (WWII) they had these metal urinals shaped like a duck and that’s what the guys called them….a duck! Not fully trusting him, I went online and researched for myself. And, he was right. My dad, the WWII vet, had his facts straight and it was I that didn’t have a clue. We both had a good laugh.
So, if any of you are out there caring for a war vet…be aware that if they ask you to hunt for a “duck”, just know that they are wanting a urinal. Of course, clarify to be sure that’s what they really want!