Wow!!! What an incredible story you have. Competition skater!! I was a horrible skater when I was a kid, but always wished I had that talent!!!
There are lots of members of this forum that are close to your age. But whether you're young or old this is a horrible syndrome, that zaps your energy and cognative thought process.
I completely understand the "never show that your in pain" thing. I hid my pain and fog for what feels like forever and I'm sure you will find that many of us have. Unfortunately for me I couldn't hide it after my most recent flare, it totally disabled me. But I keep trying to get better and I have a positive attitude most of the time and I think having a positive attitude is half the battle.
I wanted to be sure to welcome you to the forum and wish you a pain free day. Please keep posting and check out Fibro 101.. the second thread on the Fibromyalia Forum. There's lots of helpful ideas and articles posted there.. I know that section has really helped me understand what's going on with me, and explain fibro to folks that don't get it.
I was just wondering - do you get the post-exertional malaise? It's common with CFS. It's that feeling like you have the flu for a couple of days after exercise. That had a huge impact on my life (for me there is an underlying cause with the Lyme Disease).
It's good that you are taking some time off to sort thru your medical stuff. Several of us have crashed when we couldn't go any further as zombies.
Have you talked to a therapist or counselor about all of this? It's very difficult to take all this in and deal with it by ourselves. Most of us have had to revise our ideas of what it means to "run at full capacity". A therapist can help with setting realistic goals.