Mine also started out with a virus and a few weeks later my knee pain issues started. The first visit with the primary care doctor issued all of the testing such as Lupus, Lyme, RA etc (all normal) from there I went to the rheumy who suspected something like a virus but never said reiters. The doctor thought I had fifth disease initially since I worked with children, however I tested negative and after like you said three months is the waiting period for something like that, this is true. We waited a full six months for me and I was tested twice, both times negative. It will be four years this Novemeber since I first went to the Rheumy and I don't have reactive arthritis, I have RA and it happened after I came down with a virus. After my knees it spread to my hips and hands and I would get the redness and tightness in my hands that would last all day instead of going away after I would wake up. It reached a point that stairs were not an option
I also started out on NSAIDS, even Celebrex and none of them helped..from there I went to Plaquenil which was a Godsend!! I also started the Methotrexate..I do have to say that my joint pain never really goes away per say like your does so I'm not sure what to say about that. I'm surprised the doctor didn't try any of the other methods like the Plaquenil or at the very least prednisone to see if it helps??? Prednisone is the gold standard and if it works fairly quickly that is pretty much a giveaway that you have inflammation in your joints. The only time I feel no joint pain and have a normal energy level is with prednisone but my doctor rarely prescribes, only in emergencies.
I hope you get better results from the new rheumy because you don't have to have a positive test result to have RA..I have never had a postive result, yet I'm on Enbrel, and if I go down on my Methotrexate dose, I can hardly get out of bed. I tried this a few weeks back, thinking I didn't need the full eight pills and was I wrong!!!
Like Ides, the cold weather is my worst enemy! I'm really dreading Winter, because my joints get very painful and sore. Last New Year's Eve, I went to an event that was held outdoors and the temp was below 32 and my husband ended up carrying me to the car because I couldn't walk..my hip joints felt frozen in place.
I wish you the best in getting the treatment you deserve, and hopefully this will be your last rheumy!