Carole here again, Johnsel's wife. I read all your posts every day and they help me no end, I read out to John the relevant ones as unfortunately he will not read them himself, I believe he is frightened to in case its about what the future may hold (even though I tell him most posts are very positive). I believe I told you that John was diagnosed 14 months ago with COPD, mild emphysema and also has a very large hiatus hernia. Up until last October it was very manageable, then, because he felt so good and his consultant said his lungs had improved, he started doing some manual work in the house. Only a couple of days after he finished he started to get very breathless, Doctor could not help and our next appointment with the consultant was 3 months away. Eventually went to A&E and after many tests said he had a chest infection and gave him some antibiotics, they did nothing at all so went to doctor who gave him stronger ones, still no good. Eventually got so bad ended up in hospital for a week (by the way this is in Spain where we live). Came home, even though he was still very breathless because there were a lot of infections going around in the ward, this was the beginning of December. Since then still very breathless, also on very strong steriods and has all the side effects. His personality has changed completely, he has no interest in anything anymore, he has lost all his muscles which is making him even more breathless. My question to all you lovely people is, is there a chance that he will get back to how he was before last October, I know he will never get better, but reading some of your posts, you seem to manage it very well, especially those of you who are working. I just want to give him a bit of hope that his breathing will improve. Has this happened to anyone else, it seems such early days for him to be so bad. We do have an appointment with the consultant on Tuesday, but because we live in Spain it is very difficult to have a real conversation through an interpreter. Hopefully she will lower his steriods a little when we see her. Do you have to come off them completely to get rid of the awful side effects, or can you be on a low dose without any side effects. He is on 40 mg now, was on 60 mg. Sorry to be so long winded, but it does help to write it down.