I don't think you are a paranoid wuss at all!!
You have identifed a specific change in your body. You might feel funny trying to describe what you are feeling (I think you did a pretty good job) but no one knows better than you what you are feeling. I would get it looked at. If it is a hernia, it may need correction, or it may need a good hernia belt...either way i would get it looked at.
I've not had any experience with a hernia, but I live in fear of one
crohn's since 1983, many surgeries and way too many drugs later finally got a perm ileostomy & proctocoletomy in August 2009 (a life saver). meds: 6 mp, lomotil and immodium, vitamins. LIFE IS GOOD!