I'm still relatively new to this COPD life. I was diagnosed in March and having been seeing a pulmonologist. I am on Spiriva once a day and have a Pro-Air inhaler for emergency uses. In July, I was experiencing exhaustion and SOB but not a lot of coughing. I called my dr. with the symptoms and went in to see him that day. He explained that was a flare up and next time I shouldn't wait so long to see him. He prescribed a Z-pack and a 12 day treatment of prednisone (10 mg with a taper). I finished that treatment about 2 weeks ago. This past week, I was camping 2 hours away from home and woke up unable to catch my breath. I feel like this came from nowhere. I hadn't been feeling sick or tired or coughing. The day before that, I did use my Pro-Air after my 30 minutes on the treadmill because I was SOB. But that was all. I ended up in ER where I was given a nebulizer treatment with albuterol and ipratropium and went home with a script for 50 mg. prednisone for 5 days along with doxycycline twice a day. In all honesty, after leaving the hospital, I felt 100% normal. It seemed like the first time I could take a deep breath since this whole part of my life started.I actually have a 3 month appointment with my pulmonologist this coming Wednesday. On my list of questions was a plan for emergencies. My husband and I are taking a trip out west in September and I wondered what I would do if I had a flare-up while I was out of town. I believe I have read on this forum that some of you keep prednisone and an antibiotic on hand in case this happens? I feel like there is still so much to learn about this disease and I appreciate all the information I gain from this web site. Any suggestions for my current situation? Should I get used to taking prednisone? Not a fan of any type of medicaton. Up until I was diagnosed with emphysema, I was very healthy...or so I thought. I'm 65, bp usually runs 95/65, never had a weight problem (unless I'm trying to gain weight...5'8" & weight 105), and very active. I recently retired after teaching for 28 years and really looking forward to the "golden years". Now...I'm not so sure.