It appears that undiagnosed Addison's (adrenal insufficiency) may have been the problem for decades: I was always intolerant of stress(though with the help of Buddhist philosophy, I have managed it pretty well), had hyper-hydrosis, was unable to concentrate urine, had some questionable pigmentation (though subtle because of fair complexion) and have had a strong proclivity for adrenalin boosting activities. I believe the 27 years of asthma medications may have ruined my lungs; my pulmonary function is now so low. My lung symptoms began to be the marker that indicated when I needed another dose of cortisol or synthetic. Though I still am trying to promote healing, and now that I am going on 9 months without bronchodilators, I think I am very, very slowly improving. I believe keeping a steady level of cortisol will allow my lungs to heal, if they are at all able. Dr. Majid Ali has some great revelations about the nature of healing and exercise that are very encouraging and I believe help explain why the kayaking in the open ocean has been so therapeutic. His books I strongly recommend.
Only after requesting a cortisol level from my new primary DO, did she immediately put me on hydrocortisone for an extremely low level (less than 2, when I should have been in the 20s)--and I was on prednisone at the time (since I was unable to be completely off of it because of slipping into respiratory failure). Though I had been on a physiological dose, as opposed to a pharmacological dose, which would also explain why I had no ill side effects, I was only taking what my body could not provide for me. So now I am trying to find an endocrinologist that deals with adrenal issues, not as common as you would think given Addison's is a 19th century, objectively identifiable, though supposedly rare, disease.