I've not had a lot of issues like that. I'm sure someone here has. (((((Hugs))))
I had pneumonia once, years ago, but no joint pains at the time. Just pneumonia, out of the blue.
I have to tell you... when I read "Love letter from my rheumy" I cracked up. Those are some crazy letters aren't they? I like the way you described it. lol.
I do know that drugs can mess up labs. My pcp has told me that. Why they take so danged long to see new patients I haven't a clue. I'd love to know why also. My guess is if they have a lot of patients, they squeeze you in.