My primary care doctor has been helping me manage this for about 15 years and I trust his judgment in recommending specialists. My pulmonary expert is quite trustworthy if at times a bit more realistic about my condition than my PCP tends to be.
Knowing your options
It is important to know and assess all your options. I am able to visit a COPD clinic when I am feeling poorly and am NOT afraid to go to an ER when I am really not well.
The notion that you can play through it is folly. The doctors never tell you to do that.
Pulm-rehab is a good idea for everyone. Insist on that discussion. Learn about diet and exercise from people who know this stuff. Often the techs will talk to you in more down-to-Earth ways.
Have you taken our COPD In America survey yey?