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Soap Lake
from Linda L.

Hi. I just discovered this web-site and I'm having a great time reading the mail, the stories, etc. I couldn't believe some of the "don't say this" comments.... I guess I've been pretty lucky NOT to have run into much of that.

I am 51 and have had P for about 20 years. Recently I had a pretty bad flare and I decided to go to Soap Lake. I spent a week there, soaking about 4-5 hours a day in my tub (the lake water is piped into the room). It helped my P a lot. After the first day, many of the bumps were smoothed out, and it got better and better. Now, about 8 weeks later, it's starting to come back. But, even having a brief reprieve is OK with me. I don't know if it's OK to "advertise" here, but I did stay at the Inn at Soap Lake, and it was a very comfortable, clean and pleasant place. There was a microwave, small refrigerator, and so forth in my room, and it was pretty reasonably priced, I thought ($58/night).

Staying at a nice place was good because the town of Soap Lake itself was quite dreary — hot and dusty. If you go, take lots of books to read. There's little to do there except soak! Has anyone else gone to Soap Lake? If so, what was your experience there?

I'm looking forward to checking this site often... Thanks, -Linda L.

*****

Ed’s Response: I’ve wanted for some time to hear from someone who has gone to Soap Lake, so was delighted to get your email, Linda. As far as I know, this spa town is the only one in the U.S. with a distinct appeal to psoriatics. Soap Lake is in central Washington. It’s mentioned in Dr. Lowe’s book, Psoriasis: A Patient’s Guide, along with this contact for further information:

Soap Lake Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 433
Soap Lake WA 98851
509-246-1821

When I lived on the East Coast — before I was psoriatic — I used to frequent the spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. (My own "advertisement" is in Ed’s Response to this email from 1998.) And there wasn’t much to do there most of the year (antiquing, canoeing and golf in season, eating, dancing on Friday and Saturday nights, and a once-a-year Apple Butter Festival). The purpose of going was to soak in the mineral baths and get rubdowns. (It was also a popular spot for romantic getaways, as some establishments there accommodate private co-ed bathing in Roman baths.)

I think we’re supposed to have a lot of time on our hands when we visit spa towns. It’s part of the therapy. I would haul Hermann Hesse’s Autobiographical Writings with me (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972, ISBN 0-374-10733-5) and re-read his essays titled "A Guest at the Spa (1924)" and "Notes on a Cure in Baden (1949)."

It makes no sense that I have not visited Soap Lake as I am a fan of spa-going and have family living in the State of Washington. In fact, I’ll be in the Seattle area for a week again this month. But at the moment my P is in remission (thanks to cyclosporine) and it is an experience I would rather save for a needy period.

In the meantime, thanks again for filling the Soap Lake Gap here at FlakeHQ. If others have been there, I hope they’ll email their experiences, too. -Ed

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