It appears that the problems that have caused my wife two weeks of misery, forced her to give up her classes for the semester, and resulted in a few sleepless nights for me spent in too many emergency rooms, were a cascade of problems:
1. Stress brought on by our evacuation from the fire some months ago caused peristalsis shutdown and increased stomach acid.
2. Ugly side effects from the medicines prescribed for the stomach ulcer (which has similar symptoms to #1) caused increased nausea.
3. Inability to get the nausea to go away--except in the emergency room--provoked panic attacks.
4. Panic attacks increased problem #1.
5. Inability to sleep for almost two weeks because of #3 (and too many nights spent in emergency rooms) greatly aggravated stress from #1.
Unfortunately, because we identify PTSD with combat operations, where it was first recognized, when the symptoms of it appear in a civilian, no one knows what it is, even though natural disasters can bring it on also. In the aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers began to suffer from PTSD--and no one recognized it at first. I wonder how many people who lost their houses in wildfires (we were lucky) are now fighting with PTSD, and don't recognize it. Nor do their doctors.