View Full Version : My depression log (Wellbutrin and Lithium)


Blueranne
07-01-11, 08:59 PM
I guess I could have started a blog about this but I just felt like doing it this way.

I am going to update this every so often with how I feel the Wellbutrin is affecting me and how my depression is improving.

Feel free to comment and share your experiences if you would like.

I know it takes several weeks to feel the full effect of this drug but, I have heard others say they notice certain side effects sooner than that.

Blueranne
07-01-11, 09:16 PM
Day 1

Im starting on 150mg Bupropion SR. I took my first dose this morning with my breakfast. I also took something for my allergies, whether that is relevant or not I don't know.

After about an hour I started getting a killer headache. I am prone to migraines and at times have had up to one a month. That completely nocks me out for at least one entire day.

Headaches are listed as a possible side effect along with dizziness and nausea which I was also experiencing to a lesser extent. However, those always accompany my migraines any way.

This is the only noticeable possible side effect I have experienced for day one. Im sure it could also be completely coincidental too. Hopefully tomorrow I wont have this again because I am hosting a family BBQ.

Gosh, I sure hope this works for me!

Rebelyell
07-01-11, 10:42 PM
feel better friend

Blueranne
07-03-11, 05:55 PM
Day 3

Nothing as of yet. Maybe a little "placebo" type hope. I guess I cant complain about that.

Blueranne
07-04-11, 06:33 PM
Day 4

I think I'm going to have to start taking my beta blockers again. After I quit Adderall I didn't need them any more but, the Wellbutrin is making my heart race again.

Still depressed as hell.

buddy
07-04-11, 06:43 PM
Hang in there.Hope you feel better soon.

Blueranne
07-06-11, 01:01 PM
Day 6

This is the first day in months that I woke and didn't dread opening my eyes. If Im not mistaking, this might actually be a good mood! :)

Oh yeah, and Im back on the beta blocker in the mornings.

BR549
07-06-11, 08:58 PM
Well, that is DEFINITELY good! :)

Rebelyell
07-06-11, 09:54 PM
Well I definately see your doing better you havent pmed too talk anymore,Good to see you got everything back under control;)

Impetus
07-27-11, 06:59 AM
how are you doing??

my doc added wellbutrin to my meds. Only 5 days in, but I feel like the fog is lifting already.

here's a link to a depression tracker....

http://www.pfizerpro.com/resources/minisites/pristiq/docs/PRS_19984_ProgressTrackerHCP.pdf

might be a bit dorky, but I dotta do what I gotta do to give my doc an accurate assessment of how I'm generally feeling. I have personal issues with getting stuck on day to day emotions. need to see progress in black and white. :)

Blueranne
07-27-11, 11:03 AM
Hey thanks for that Impetus. I had just been writing things down in a note book but I like that log, I think I might give it a try.

As for how the wellbutrin is working, well its been just a few days shy of one month and I am doing better but, Im still not at a place I want to be at with the depression.

I also started taking depakote, a mood stabilizer, and I wonder if that has changed the effect of the wellbutrin.

I think Im going to ask my doc to up my wellbutrin to 300mg. At 150mg I still get sad a lot, like yesterday.

Yesterday was really bad. It felt like how things were before I started taking anything. I couldn't get out of bed until about 2pm.

Today feels like it will be a good day though...

Any way, thanks for asking, I had forgot about this thread. :o

mrgreyshadow
07-28-11, 12:40 PM
I did really well on wellbutrin (ha!) depression-wise, but it didn't fix my inattention on its own so I moved up to ritalin.

I hope it works out for you!

AddledSquirrel
07-28-11, 06:13 PM
I've been on Wellbutrin XR for a couple of months - started with 150 and now up to 300. I had underlying depression already, and then I lost my mom unexpectedly in February and I was REALLY messed up. I'm still grieving and the Wellbutrin doesn't take it away, but now I'm bursting into tears once or twice a week instead of several times a day. And WOW is my concentration better!

My first couple of doses of Wellbutrin made me jittery - OMG especially my first dose -- I didn't have a panic attack, but it was similar to one. I noticed a difference in my depression within about 3-4 days, though. It's also put a damper on my appetite so I've lost a few pounds, also a win.

Impetus
07-30-11, 01:02 PM
Hey thanks for that Impetus. I had just been writing things down in a note book but I like that log, I think I might give it a try.

As for how the wellbutrin is working, well its been just a few days shy of one month and I am doing better but, Im still not at a place I want to be at with the depression.

I also started taking depakote, a mood stabilizer, and I wonder if that has changed the effect of the wellbutrin.

I think Im going to ask my doc to up my wellbutrin to 300mg. At 150mg I still get sad a lot, like yesterday.

Yesterday was really bad. It felt like how things were before I started taking anything. I couldn't get out of bed until about 2pm.

Today feels like it will be a good day though...

Any way, thanks for asking, I had forgot about this thread. :o

over time I am becoming more and more aware of how much I need an external tool to measure success. I just absolutely cannot trust someone else to give me an accurate reflection. Intentional or not, we all have our own agendas.... mine is getting better.

Today, I feel pretty damn good. It's kind of funny, I feel like I am getting EVEN MORE time to think before I react. I still feel like I have to hold myself back, but it's much easier to do.

Impetus
07-31-11, 10:03 AM
hope I'm not hijacking your log... :o

hopped out of bed early this morning, ready to rock and roll. That's reassuring for me.

ok, off to find some trouble to get into! :p

Impetus
08-19-11, 07:25 PM
are you having any improvement??

my doc increased my wellbutrin about a week ago. I think it's really started kicking in the past two days. I am wondering if I may not need so much adderall....

I was so hyper on my full dose of adderall, my coworkers were trying to figure out how to get me down off the ceiling! :D

my focus has DEFINATELY improved!

Blueranne
11-08-11, 05:50 PM
Here is my official position...

Prozac and Depakote suck ***...

Wellbutrin and Lithium kick ***...

Impetus
11-08-11, 07:55 PM
glad to hear you're getting some relief!

kathrynsmathryn
11-16-11, 10:50 PM
Good job with this log! I constantly debate about talking about it on my blog... but then I end up updating my own depression thread here, haha. I'm glad the wellbutrin is working for you!

Blueranne
11-17-11, 02:08 AM
Thanks! I even bought one of these to help me remember. It works.... kinda. :p

http://www.independence.ltd.uk/product-images/7013/week-day-pill-dispenser.jpg

Blueranne
11-17-11, 02:14 AM
Ummm.... ****! Im running on a really old version of window through parallels on my mac and I dont know how to edit that picture to make it smaller. Sorry!

cplisko0705
01-15-12, 11:58 AM
JUst hang in there. You probably know already but the first few weeks can be rough. for me i have found that SSRIs that are not like well butrin dont really help with my ADHD. Anxiety and depression in my case have been products of my adhd,, but do require treatment. with vyvance my other symptoms have been greatly reduced

Chicchick
01-30-12, 04:49 PM
I'm glad to hear you're doing better! I have been on Wellbutrin for 7 weeks and have seen improvement, not 100% where I'd like but improvement nonetheless, I have heard many great stories about Wellbutrin :)

BioVader
01-31-12, 07:33 PM
I just started taking Bupropion 150mg every 12 hours last Wednesday with my Strattera 80mg. Going through some serious depression and anxiety trying to deal with a breakup. It's been just about 4 months now since she moved out and in with her parents. After the first of the year she met a new guy and since then I have been a wreck having some good days and bad. Not saying the previous months were any easier but I was able cope better with the thought of working things out while getting help for ADHD. I also think she battles with undiagnosed ADHD but she will have nothing to do with the idea.

Anyhow I started taking the Bupropion on the 25th while being on Strattera since the 12th. Was on Dextroamp before that. Anyhow for some reason the last two nights, days 6 and 7, I've gotten about 4 hours sleep. I can't stop thining about the situation and my depression seems to have kicked into overdrive. I know it's because I can't get my mind off of what she might be doing and it's diving me crazy. I feel like I should be at the bar getting plastered.

After all the **** she put me through during the year we were together I should not be thinking this way. All I can think of is being back with her yet it would be the same old crap all over again.

Blueranne
02-01-12, 02:23 AM
Make sure you document your symptoms and report back to your doc. It might not be the right med, but then again it can take several weeks before noticing positive side effects. It also sounds like you migh benefit from some therapy. Good luck, I hope it works out for you!

Darken
02-04-12, 12:44 AM
How are things now Bio?

Wellbutrin can be a tough Med to start up on.but if you stick with it you should see some benefit from it for both depression and adhd....

I agrese with Blueranne that therapy could definitely help you cope better.

BioVader
02-04-12, 09:33 AM
Yeah I've been seeing a therapist since October. I really enjoy talking to her and getting all the thing from my past off my chest along with the current situation. I was doing pretty good for a while although I think it was because I was more on the hopeful end of things working out. Now that I see it's not I really crashed.

Anyhow the sleeping has not gotten any better. Wednesday night I went to bed around 930 and woke up wide awake at 1130 and couldn't get back to sleep. Had to go into work at 5am. Worked all day got home around 3pm and tried to go to bed around 10. I actually got a good night sleep that night waking up once but managed to fall back alseep. Last night went to bed at midnight and was up at 330. I did manage to doze back off around 5 to be up at 6.

I ran into my doctor yesterday and he wants me to back off to one a day for a couple weeks and see if things improve. Then we'll go from there.

Darken
02-04-12, 11:29 AM
That's logical...since you take it every 12 hours I assume you are on the SR version right? I tried the SR but had better success with the XL (just taking 300 XL in the morning) with it I never ran into any sleep problems at all. With the SR I had to be careful when I took my last dose since if it went too late into the afternoon I would have difficulty falling asleep (but not staying asleep as you are)

Wish the best for you.

ADDinHDefgHi?!
02-14-12, 06:09 AM
I've been on and off wellbutrin a few different times and I can usually feel it working within 3 days, it really helps, I notice getting out of bed is easier and my thoughts are clearer and more rational, I notice myself socializing more etc... Just feel better overall when on it.

Unfortunately it usually stops working for me after 6 months or so.

The first time I went on it was amazing though, this was pre ADHD dx but it wiped out my depression completely. It may have been placebo but I definitely noticed a mood lift within a few days.


Hope you feel better!

Blueranne
02-20-12, 02:04 PM
So it's been 7 or 8 months since I started Wellbutrin and something close to 6 months since starting lithium. *While I still very much prefer these two meds above any other that I've try for effectiveness, I am miserable still because of the added side effects, mainly from the lithium.

Recently, and admittedly without the knowledge of my doc, I tappered off everything and went two weeks without my meds. It started out fine and I was very optimistic, but you can't just hope to no long be bipolar and have it be true. I started to notice symptoms creeping back and after a dear friend mentioned he could tell I wasn't taking my meds I knew I had made a mistake, again. Now I'm back on meds and titrateing back up to effective doses.

But I'm mad. I'm so mad that I will have to suffer with the side effects of these meds for the rest of my life. I want to be healthy and happy and productive, but eitherway, I'm just trading one bad for several smaller bads. And onto of everything else I still don't feel some of my bipolar symptoms are treated with just lithium. I might have to add an anti-psychotic which will no doubt add more unwanted side effects. It's just ******* depressing to have this be my reality. I hate it!

Here is a list of the more prominent side effects from lithium:

Drying (severe) and thinning (moderate) of the hair*
hand tremor (mild)
loss of appetite (mild)
thirst (moderate)
tiredness (moderate)*
confusion (moderate)*
dry mouth or eyes (mild)*
increased urination (moderate)
loss of coordination (moderate)*
muscle weakness (moderate)

Added to all of that is the fact that I have a harder time in school because it feels like I just can't think as fast. I feel dumbed down.

Is it all worth it? I guess so, but just barely.

known_guy
02-20-12, 03:04 PM
:( Sorry to hear about the side-effects. What other mood stabilizers have you tried?

cameron90
02-21-12, 12:24 AM
Thank you for keeping track of your progress with these medications and sharing it. I'm looking at trying Wellbutrin again (I tried it quite a few years ago for a short period of time, not sure why it was discontinued), so reading through this thread has been helpful. I recently stopped prozac and now I'm taking mirtazepine, but I don't think it's really helping that much...

I'm really sorry to hear about the last post re: side effects. I'm not bipolar but I was treated with a few mood-stabilizers over the years, in conjunction with an antidepressant.

:( Sorry to hear about the side-effects. What other mood stabilizers have you tried?

I'm interested as to what other mood stabilizers you have tried, also. Mood-stabilizing medications can be a tricky thing, and they generally have really high side effect profiles :(. Lithium didn't work for me because of toxicity, carbemazepine resulted in a low white cell count -- also at one point or another tried lamictal, gabapentin, phenytoin, valproic acid and several atypical antipsychotics. I ended up on an antidepressant (mostly SSRI) augmented with olanzapine (Zyprexa) for several years. It was quite tolerable for me, and it did result in some weight gain and heavy sedation in the evening.

What are you currently taking in terms of meds? My depression has been getting worse and I'm actually really desperate to find something the works. I thought that the mirtazepine was going great but the last few days have been just unbearable...

I wish you the best and please keep us updated.

CheekyMonkey
02-21-12, 12:54 AM
So it's been 7 or 8 months since I started Wellbutrin and something close to 6 months since starting lithium. *While I still very much prefer these two meds above any other that I've try for effectiveness, I am miserable still because of the added side effects, mainly from the lithium.

Recently, and admittedly without the knowledge of my doc, I tappered off everything and went two weeks without my meds. It started out fine and I was very optimistic, but you can't just hope to no long be bipolar and have it be true. I started to notice symptoms creeping back and after a dear friend mentioned he could tell I wasn't taking my meds I knew I had made a mistake, again. Now I'm back on meds and titrateing back up to effective doses.

But I'm mad. I'm so mad that I will have to suffer with the side effects of these meds for the rest of my life. I want to be healthy and happy and productive, but eitherway, I'm just trading one bad for several smaller bads. And onto of everything else I still don't feel some of my bipolar symptoms are treated with just lithium. I might have to add an anti-psychotic which will no doubt add more unwanted side effects. It's just ******* depressing to have this be my reality. I hate it!

Here is a list of the more prominent side effects from lithium:

Drying (severe) and thinning (moderate) of the hair*
hand tremor (mild)
loss of appetite (mild)
thirst (moderate)
tiredness (moderate)*
confusion (moderate)*
dry mouth or eyes (mild)*
increased urination (moderate)
loss of coordination (moderate)*
muscle weakness (moderate)

Added to all of that is the fact that I have a harder time in school because it feels like I just can't think as fast. I feel dumbed down.

Is it all worth it? I guess so, but just barely.

My hubby is on wellbutrin and lithium (among a couple other things) as well. His side effects really only lasted 6 weeks. If you are still experiencing hair loss and such, maybe ask your pdoc about a change. Have you tried lamictal yet?

I know how depressing it is to realize that you NEED these pills and that they make you feel ****ty but the alternative is much worse. There are other options though, so talk to your pdoc. And don't go off the lithium by yourself!!! I've seen too many friends end up hospitalized again when they change their meds on their own. :(

Blueranne
02-21-12, 01:01 AM
Known guy, sorry I didn't see your reply earlier.

To answer the question about which of the other mood stabilizers I've tried, I've tried lamictil and depicote.

Lamictil really messed with my kidney function. I titrated up as prescribed, but still I was getting UTIs and kidney infections left and right. As soon as I stopped the lamictil they went away so I know it was from the meds.

Depikote did work for me, though not as well as lihium, but the side effects were worse than lithium in some ways. The thinning hair was worse and I felt much more "drugged". I felt very slow while on it. However, I didn't have shaky hands. My coordination was unaffected, and I didn't get thirsty or have to pee every hour.

Lithium and depikote were almost "6's" but the lithium wins because of faster better treatment of bipolar symptoms and the hair thinning is less significant.

CheekyMonkey
02-21-12, 01:05 AM
Known guy, sorry I didn't see your reply earlier.

To answer the question about which of the other mood stabilizers I've tried, I've tried lamictil and depicote.

Lamictil really messed with my kidney function. I titrated up as prescribed, but still I was getting UTIs and kidney infections left and right. As soon as I stopped the lamictil they went away so I know it was from the meds.

Depikote did work for me, though not as well as lihium, but the side effects were worse than lithium in some ways. The thinning hair was worse and I felt much more "drugged". I felt very slow while on it. However, I didn't have shaky hands. My coordination was unaffected, and I didn't get thirsty or have to pee every hour.

Lithium and depikote were almost "6's" but the lithium wins because of faster better treatment of bipolar symptoms and the hair thinning is less significant.

It sucks when the best still makes you feel miserable. :( I see my husband go through motions of life and can tell that being medicated does mute a part of him. To put the medical issues on top of that, it is always tempting to say "What if I didn't take them." Reality sets in and then there is coming to terms with how to make THIS life full and happy, and worth it. It is tough, for sure.

Blueranne
02-21-12, 01:11 AM
Cheekymonkey, thanks for the reply. I really do need to discuss all of this more with my pdoc, I will I promise.

The thing with going off meds... I'm sure you guys will be able to imagine this, but my lithium makes me feel so close to normal and somehow I tricked myself into thinking it wasn't because of the meds, or maybe I just forgot, I don't know. It's like you are feeling decent, not necessarily 100%, but functional, and then you start questioning the whole diagnosis to begins with. Maybe I got cocky, I don't know. Maybe this log will help me not to forget again.

I know that may sound stupid, but it is what it is. I just need to set up procautions for if I feel like that again. I guess that's where my support team comes into play.

SOVA1050
02-21-12, 01:14 AM
Hello, I'm a person who was on Welbutrin for 30+years for depression. Over the years I was getting worse. I found a DR. that said I had ADD and he put me on Adderall and most of my symtoms went away. I also had to start taking Clonazepam. I thought I could work thru my depression and get off all meds. but here I was just on the wrong ones. I do feel 90% better. Not 100% because I don't think ADD will ever let me feel that good. It's always going to be a work in progress.
Here is a question for anyone who wants to respond.
I was married and for what I thought was the reason for the breakup, was his fault because he gave me no understanding, sympathy, comfort. Can people with ADD have a good relationship? Is there someone out there that will put up with our mood swings, etc. Or are we destin to live out our lives alone? I was married 24yrs and I don't want to live the next 24yrs alone.

Rebelyell
02-21-12, 01:38 AM
I have felt that way several times and I quit my meds cold turkey thinking I didnt need any of it.It wasnt a good idea at all and had me sick and back to non functional in no time.

CheekyMonkey
02-21-12, 01:53 AM
Cheekymonkey, thanks for the reply. I really do need to discuss all of this more with my pdoc, I will I promise.

The thing with going off meds... I'm sure you guys will be able to imagine this, but my lithium makes me feel so close to normal and somehow I tricked myself into thinking it wasn't because of the meds, or maybe I just forgot, I don't know. It's like you are feeling decent, not necessarily 100%, but functional, and then you start questioning the whole diagnosis to begins with. Maybe I got cocky, I don't know. Maybe this log will help me not to forget again.

I know that may sound stupid, but it is what it is. I just need to set up procautions for if I feel like that again. I guess that's where my support team comes into play.

It happens all the time. Living with all of that can seem like a nightmare at times, the thought of being able to wake up and not need all the pills is an attractive illusion. :(

Blueranne
02-21-12, 01:54 AM
Its good knowing others feel the same sometimes. Thanks for sharing Reb!

Rebelyell
02-21-12, 02:18 AM
yw I only wish it was true that I could just quit it all and be fine.Are you off all the meds you took now BLue?

Blueranne
02-21-12, 02:26 AM
What are you currently taking in terms of meds? My depression has been getting worse and I'm actually really desperate to find something the works. I thought that the mirtazepine was going great but the last few days have been just unbearable...

I wish you the best and please keep us updated.

Cameron is mirtazepine an SSRI or something else? I'm really sorry to here about your depression. Feel free to share h your progress here if you want.

Blueranne
02-21-12, 02:35 AM
yw I only wish it was true that I could just quit it all and be fine.Are you off all the meds you took now BLue?

No, I'm getting back on everything working up to full dose again.

I have wondered though if my mood cycling might be made more sensitive by the Wellbutrin. It certainly was an inssue when I tried Adderall and several years back I tried cilexa for 3 days and I stopped because it worked instantly within the first day. Actually thinking back about trying cilexa and having that weird reaction, that should have given cause to my doc to screen me for a mood disorder. Any way, yes I wonder if Wellbutrin might be keeping me close to the threshold of hypomania. That kinda scares me.

desulove
02-21-12, 12:12 PM
Wow! Do you really need hardcore meds like lithium? Here it's only used if the person is a risk to the public safety because of their severity of their Bi poplar.

They don't even understand it's mechanisms of action.

I hope you are not taking these to "fit in" or please other and be "less annoying"

Are you really bad if you don't take lithium? Are you a risk to others? :confused:

Blueranne
02-21-12, 12:20 PM
Yes, I need lithium or something on the same level of effectiveness.

No, I'm not taking it just to fit in. What an idiotic question!

desulove
02-21-12, 12:33 PM
Yes, I need lithium or something on the same level of effectiveness.

No, I'm not taking it just to fit in. What an idiotic question!

Ehrrrmmm Lots of people take meds like sedatives because other people nag/pressure them to because *they* are not happy with how the person acts.

For example many people with simple schizophrenia are happy how they are without meds and sometimes happier and no risk to others whatsoever.

Other like to not take med turning hypomania and as long as it doesn't progress into mania there really is no point they should.

Many times family, teachers, bosses press for meds/meds way to strong when sometimes they are unessential.

Do you mind sharing how you act without them just out of curiosity?

Abi
02-21-12, 12:49 PM
Desulove,

Blueranne's reasons for taking Lithium are between her, her doctor(s), and those she chooses to share the information with.

Blueranne is open about the fact that she is dx'ed with Bipolar Disorder, and Lithium is one of the medications indicated for this condition.

Again, Blueranne's choice of whom to share info about how she behaves off medication is hers alone to make, and even asking** her to do so on open forum is rude and tactless.

desulove
02-21-12, 01:20 PM
Desulove,

Blueranne's reasons for taking Lithium are between her, her doctor(s), and those she chooses to share the information with.

Blueranne is open about the fact that she is dx'ed with Bipolar Disorder, and Lithium is one of the medications indicated for this condition.

Again, Blueranne's choice of whom to share info about how she behaves off medication is hers alone to make, and even asking** her to do so on open forum is rude and tactless.

:giggle: I said out of curiosity gezz not like I demand she answer. I am just the kind of person who is open with everything because I really don't care of other peoples opinion of me. My mind is a open booK! :)

I just don't think anyone should take Lithium... here in NZ it's on the a fine of being banned as a mediation for anything.

mjoy79
02-21-12, 01:41 PM
Blue,
Glad you posted a Wellbutrin log. Glad things are going well for you in that department!
I was on Wellbutrin for several years until I went off of it in late September. My former psych doc had me go off of it in two weeks. In my opinion that was way too fast to taper off of a drug like Wellbutrin. It felt like hell for awhile. My appetite came back full swing and I had nausea all the time so I ate like crazy and gained about 25 lbs in just a few months.
The reason i went off of it (as well as Celexa at the time) was because I felt like it wasn't helping me like I knew it should be. I thought going off anti-depressants would help me. I dont regret going off of them because I am where I am now because of them. (Taking Cymbalta and Focalin and feeling much better). But looking back I realize the Wellbutrin WAS helping in some way, because my concentration and focus got much worse once I was off.
Good to keep these types of logs so you can remember what to tell your doc next visit. I need to be keeping better track of how I feel on focalin - as I just started it a week ago.

Blueranne
02-21-12, 02:19 PM
Desulove, as Abi said I have been pretty open about my diagnosis and symptoms on the forums. I do not intend to defend my use of lithium with you or debate about it's effectiveness in general. That is not the point of this thread. You are welcome to start your own thread on when it is or isn't ok to use this mood stabilizer if you want, but please do not derail this thread further.

peripatetic
02-22-12, 08:32 PM
Cameron is mirtazepine an SSRI or something else? I'm really sorry to here about your depression. Feel free to share h your progress here if you want.

hey blue...it's a "tetracyclic"...also called remeron. i know someone who takes it and it helps with sleep. i'll let that person konw this thread exists in case he wants to say more :)

known_guy
02-24-12, 02:57 AM
Sorry to hear that Lamictal and Depakote didn't work for you. :( Lithium does have a good track record in terms of helping symptoms, but the side effects suck. Hmm. I'd offer suggestions but don't have experience with taking mood stabilizers myself. Have you considered looking into Topamax or Geodon? Maybe Carbamazepine? Abilify?

I take Remeron at night. It helps me sleep and helps to combat the appetite loss that stimulants cause. Not taking it now, but I felt that Remeron and Strattera was a good combo for me, except it made me feel... dissociated?

lmoses
03-01-12, 01:06 PM
Hi, I just joined the forum
Today is my first day on Wellbutrin. Does it work weel for ADHD symptoms??? just wondering. hope this is ok for me to ask here