Ann, I'm not that willing to share personal information in such a public place, but I've been reading your things for a long time now, and I have a sister in Meno Falls (Schlei Road), so there is a sort of kinship. I love that same corner butcher shop/deli that you do, and will be there at Thanksgiving.
So I can tell you a couple things, although it could be better news, financially.
I too have COPD, and my manifestations of it are the same as Bob, although I would put the emphysema first over the chronic bronchitis, as the emphysema is constant and the bronchitis will occur in periodic attacks.
I have actually only had bronchitis once in my life, but I did have pneumonia twice in 2011, in January and again in July. I thought I was a goner, especially after the second time in six months. The future did not look good.
You've seen the ads in magazines for Advair and Spiriva. I am on both. Been on Advair for about three years, and the Spiriva was added after the July pneumonia.
They are, for me, miracles! I am breathing much better now. Unless I exert myself too much, I can forget I have a problem (Yes, get reminded quick enough).
The two drugs do different things in the lungs. The Advair was good, but the Spiriva really made the difference. The doctor says some people have wonderful results with it, others less so. He is glad I'm doing better, but says if I was off for a few days, I would know it for sure.
The problem is they are both very expensive! Neither are anywhere near generic yet, and won't be for a while. I am sorry to tell you they are costing me an arm and a leg. But without them I would not be walking around.
I know times are tough over there. My sister is losing her job at Dana Corp, after some twenty-six years there. They are closing the plant and over two hundred jobs are moving to Kentucky (Danville). She will be done by Thanksgiving, gets a five month severance package, then she will be an older lady without insurance, and I am really worried for her.
Hey, for you and/or Bob -- Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac announced yesterday they are adding 170 jobs. Their plant is right on Hwy 41, just a few miles north of the Quad plant.
(I recognized your description of Quad, I've been there a jillion times on business with them.)
Hope I have helped, even though not the greatest news. It's pretty scary at first. But the hospital has given you good information; there is reason for hope!