I think many of us are having a horrible time with our asthma this summer. I'm on (what I feel) is a large amount of medication right now (including oral prenisone), and it's still out of control. But that unusual for me. Usually, I feel that my asthma/allergies are fairly well managed with just an antihistamine, a steroid inhaler, flonase, and an albuterol inhaler as needed.
I'm sorry your pulmonologist was a jerk; a lot of people have undesirable side effects with asthma/allergy meds. You shouldn't have been given a hard time because a med was intolerable for you. Medication for asthma and allergies is a very trial and error process, and it is very fluid. What works this month or year may not work next, and medications have to be changed, added, or subtracted.
And I guess that is my answer to your question, unfortunately. I will have it figured out for awhile, but then it changes. I always take as little medication as possible at any given time, but I feel it's really important to have a doctor who is really accessible and will work with you through the changing of the seasons. If your asthma is triggered by allergies, it most likely will wax and wane. Do you have an allergist? They are pretty good at treating allergy triggered asthma. I can call my allergist if I'm having a flare and either get advice/prescription to adjust meds or get a pretty quick appointment to see her.
Having said all of that, MOST of the time, I feel my asthma is well managed with the meds I named above. And sometimes, I can get by with just an antihistamine and flonase. But it does change, and I have to adapt my meds with it. And this summer has definitely been a bear.