It's been a while since we chatted. I feel I must apologise for not keeping up with you. Unfortunately I have been unwell (physical) and not able to post much. Hopefully all is getting better.
Yes, I have dry eyes. Part of that I think is being in air conditioning both warm and cold. It can dry your eyes quite a lot. I have eye drops prescribed which I use at least once a day. It makes a huge difference. You can buy drops over the counter but I suggest you see your eye specialist first just to make sure there is nothing else amiss. If everything else is OK you can simply use the drops and feel more comfortable.
Like Curtee (hello Curtee), I have been in similar situations. It is very uncomfortable and feels as though the brain is frozen. Not a lot of interest in anything. As Curtee says, the lights are on but no one is home.
I have lost count of the times I feel silly asking a question or even going to the doctor. I was apologising for taking up his time for nothing on one occasion. He looked at me and said, "This is my job". I have not said it again because what he said was true. Maybe symptoms are due to imagination but it is still the GP job to check you out and to help you get past the the over reaction or whatever. I think when we believe we have a mental illness of any kind however slight, our upbringing springs to life and says we should not talk about it. Public opinion is the greatest barrier to anyone getting help.
With a panic attack that worries you in any way the safest option is to call an ambulance. Please do not wait to see if it goes away. I would hate the thought that you waited too long. And do not let yourself be persuaded or ridiculed into staying put. This is your life we are talking about.
When you are in the situation you describe above it may be easier to sit and listen. No need to feel silly as many people do not know what to say in social situations. Watch what everyone is doing and saying rather than joining in. It's not such hard work.
A birthday party. Is it yours? My mom's birthday was on 20th October. Hope you get to have a good time.