Many people have more prevalent symptoms at night than during the day and have seemingly atypical symptoms of asthma. Does the Ventolin help you? If it does, then it's likely your asthma has quit it's 'vacation'. Because you were diagnosed with asthma when you were younger, it's likely it was never 'gone', but your symptoms were.
Your body will likely be able to tolerate the Ventolin better after awhile--I wasn't on an inhaled corticosteroid with Ventolin for the first six months after I was given the possible diagnosis of asthma and was taking it 2-4 times a day. I'm using it much more infrequently now, and the heart palpitations, hyperactivity and shakiness have pretty much gone down to a minimum.
If you really struggle with the side effects, your doctor may be able to prescribe Xopenex which is similar to Ventolin, but has fewer side effects for many people. [Chemical name: levalbuterol/levosalbutamol depending on where you're from].
I was diagnosed at 17, and had no history of asthma, in myself or my family. I have no clue why I got it when I did either. Like you, I have mild symptoms [cough that's lasted since mid-feb 08, chest tightness] , and I got put on two rounds of antibiotics for "bronchitis" before a walk-in clinic doctor gave me a possible diagnosis of asthma. I have a doctor now, and she diagnosed me and put me on the inhaled corticosteroid FloVent as well as Ventolin as needed.
Another thing to mention to your doctor is if you have problems breathing with exercise. I thought I was just out of shape, but my doctor said exercise is likely one of my triggers. If you have symptoms when exercising, mention this to your doctor, too--it might be a helpful clue in making your diagnosis.
Let us know how this goes for you.
you hold your breath to breathe
--eyes to see, flyleaf