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How long, do you find, do problems resulting from exercise last? Does forestalling an attack by using a rescue inhaler prevent or merely delay problems resulting from exercise?

As you all know, I've been recovering from a moderately severe attack that put me in the hospital for a day. Last night, I was feeling pretty good, and was on the lowest dose of my prednisone tape, and decided to try to start working back into exercising a bit. I used to run, but haven't really done so since November, when I started having asthma problems.

I checked my peak flow, and it was about 85%. I used albuterol to pre-medicate so it wouldn't get any worse, and I set out for a brisk walk. After a few minutes, I guess the albuterol kicked in, and I felt really good. On the way home I picked it up a bit and jogged and ran a couple blocks, alternating with walking. I did wheeze a little, and it caused some chest pain, but nothing unmanageable. When I got home, I used the nebulizer and sat up working for a while before going to bed, to avoid any asthma or reflux problems from exercising right before going to sleep (I tend to have a lot of symptoms at night).

I thought I'd done everything right, and that despite a bad attack almost a week ago, I had gotten a good workout without asthma trouble. Then I woke up this morning. Despite still being on prednisone, despite nebulizing right before bed, etc, my peak flow was down to 70% and I felt terrible. Six hours later and a nebulizer treatment later, I'm back in the "green zone", and feel a little better, but it's been a painful morning, with plenty of coughing and shortness of breathe, etc.

As usual, I'm writing way more details than you all probably want. But seriously, is this the way it's always gonna be whenever I exercise? Where even if I can prevent any symptoms from occurring during the workout, I still feel terrible later on? With all the medications I've had this week, and the care I've taken with hydration and sleep and diet and such, I should not be down to 70%. (And my peak flows tend to run high, because I cough so much. I'm in pretty severe distress generally at anything below 50%.)

I'm frustrated. I have to be able to get some exercise!

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