The dry cough is from drainage down the back of her throat, or at least that's what the ped said it was with my dd. No, I wouldn't assume the two are connected. if she's not bringing up phlegm, then her reaction during the running is from the mild/intermittent asthma and not being caused by the cold (virus). They're two separate things.
If you let it go, then down the road, as she ages, she'll continue to have symptoms, begin to have them more frequently (at a pace that is dependent on her body and exposures to things she reacts to) and will eventually have enough that she'll compel herself to get in. There's really no advantage to waiting and it's not going away.
The inhaler is a nothing. It's not going to give her health problems or be addictive or be a sustained thing. It's just making sure she has airflow during the occasional, few times a year, situations. It's making sure that she has access to it in an *emergency*. Frankly, you don't want to know how bad it could be. She could be fine, at this low/occasional level, and then get into something and BAM get really scary. I'm at that mild/intermittent level where I maybe need an inhaler once a month, once every other month, but I've had that happen. And in those situations you'd MUCH rather have the inhaler and NOT need it than to wish you had it. Much safer.
So I can see why you're frustrated with the drive. I drive 2 hours each way weekly for therapy for my ds, so I get it. Maybe try calling the nurse line in the 2 hour distant community, seeing what you can make happen, and then doing the 4 hour if the 2 hour can't work?
Yeah, I've never tried different inhalers. What I use is the pro-air with an Aerochamber spacer. If you want, you can get an inexpensive ($16, really cheap) peak flow meter from amazon. I'm crazy for mine. Then she'd have data to make her decisions. When I started, my peak flow (while sick) was pretty close to averages for my age and height, which actually left me wondering why I was having so many problems. As I got better, my peak flow went up. Turns out I have close to DOUBLE the peak flow for my age/height when my asthma is really controlled. And weight lifting bumped it another 10%. As an athlete, she may have a very large lung capacity and high peak flow. And people are like ooo cool, but actually i wonder if it's a disadvantage because you NEED that capacity and need it to WORK and really FEEL it when it's down 10%. So like me, I really don't like how it feels 10% down, even if the flow would be really good compared to somebody else. I need that oxygen and that air flow to have energy for my muscles, kwim?
She sounds very self-aware, but that's just a way to give data to it to help her quantify what is happening and whether she needs it or not. If I'm 10-20% down and my numbers are bouncing around, I use the inhaler. If my numbers are stable but less than 10% down, I hold. Some people go by how they feel, but I like to use the meter. And if she just tests herself during the day (when she's exercising, when she's at home, first thing in the morning, etc) she'll probably have a good sense of where her numbers are at *without* needing the meter in a pinch. That way she'll be really accurate and saying ok, time to pause during the race, time to use the inhaler, and she'll know why. And she can meter before and after exercise and know whether/when the patterns show the inhaler is warranted.
Edited by PeterPan, 13 January 2018 - 12:52 PM.