Hi. I'm really new to this problem. In fact, I'm not sure what the problem is. I've definitely got a lot of questions though, and if anyone give me any answers (or educated guesses), I'd really appreciate it. Thank you.
Here's my story..
I'm a 28 year old male. I generally stay pretty healthy. I have to be, because I don't have the money or medical insurance to be anything else. About a year/year-and-a-half ago, I was working for a tree nursery/landscaping business. I had to do a series of really heavy lifts one day. Everything seemed fine at the time, but when I went to the bathroom later that night, I immediately felt what I assumed to be a hemorrhoid. I don't remember it being horribly painful. I still took a week off of work to be safe. It went away during that time, and I haven't thought about it much since. Fast forward up to this month.
My work had started to slow down a lot. I'd been feeling incredibly out of shape. So, for the first time in my life, I started a serious diet and exercise plan. I cut out all of the junk food that I'd been eating. I did a regular routine of runs, crunches, pushups, and swimming, and I was starting to notice real differences in both the way that I looked and the way that I felt. It's also worth noting that during this time I helped my father carry a washer and a drier. I'm sure there was as much strain in that as any of the exercises that I'd been doing. Well, as a side effect of this new healthier diet, I realized I hadn't made a notable bowel movement in possibly the entire two weeks. I added a ton of fiber to my diet, and after a day or two (and a little bit of straining), that notable bowel movement finally happened. When I showered afterward, I felt something that was really scary to me. It was like a walnut-sized fleshy lump coming out of my anus.
You'd think my first thought would have been “hemorrhoid” like before. But it felt so “fleshy” that my mind just assumed that it was part of the anus. So I took my discovery to Google, and found some information. The term I came across was “rectal prolapse”. The extreme-case images were scarier than anything I'd ever imagined. Since then this thing's also started to hurt when I sit, and about twice a day, has to be cleaned to get rid of a very distinct odor. I've tried a few different home remedies to help a partial rectal prolapse. That's when it occurred to me to take a picture of this (imagined-to-be pink) lump. I grabbed my digital camera, and was surprised to find that the lump was actually purple. It was barely visible from a standing position, but took up most of the anus from a sitting position. With all of these different thoughts going through my head (the exercise, the bathroom strain, the washer/dryer, the statistics of one vs. the other, and especially the purple lump), I started leaning toward this actually being a hemorrhoid. In fact, every part of me was *hoping* that it was a hemorrhoid (Never thought I'd be able to say that). So I bought some hemorrhoid cream yesterday, and after one application, haven't noticed a lot of difference. Besides the gross feeling that comes with it.
From the information given, would you guess that it's a hemorrhoid, a rectal prolapse, or something else entirely?
Is there anything that I should do that I haven't done so far? Besides making an appointment with a doctor.
When can I start exercising again? When I do, should anything be off limits?
How much daily fiber will keep me from running into this problem again?
If it's a hemorrhoid, how long before the cream should have a noticeable shrinking effect? How many times a day should I apply?