Being in an intimate relationship is very important to me, even after 35 years of marriage. I am currently in an intimate relationship, and I feel somewhat differently about intimacy than before I was diagnosed. I am experiencing physical barriers to a satisfying intimate relationship including the almost constant tremor of my arm/hand and reduced ease of movement. I am experiencing emotional barriers to a satisfying intimate relationship including anxiety and frustration at rate of arousal. Medications probably don’t make a lot of difference. The factors impacting on my ability to have an intimate relationship include fatigue, lack of sleep, stress, impact of changes in partner roles, tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with coordinating movement. I have experienced vaginal dryness, difficulty in reaching an orgasm, feelings of reduced relationship intimacy and balance issues during sex. Strategies that are useful or may be useful are changing the time of the day when sex is possible, increasing exercise to improve mobility and stamina, going to the toilet before sex, Hormone Replacement Therapy and pelvic floor exercises. I feel it would be useful for the App to provide free access to a Relationship Therapist for online advice specifically in relation to young onset Parkinson’s, so long as the therapist has been appropriately vetted and has an interest in younger people with PD.
I would like a Relationship Therapist to know about young onset Parkinson’s, and that we are still people with intimacy and relationship needs – but probably with an overlay of anger and guilt, and physical limitations. Great idea to have this app – but definition of YOPD can be a difficult one – now at age 61 I still feel I belong in this category but at the same time feel as if I don’t belong to neither it or the oldies!