Judy, Hope - From what I have heard a cystoscopy is the only fool proof way to diagnose the IC. I also have the distended abdomen. I think it is caused by the spasming of the bladder - it gets irritated and swells. A guy I work with - his wife has IC. she also works for a urologist (isn't she lucky - treatments right away!) She says that when she is having a flare up hers does the same thing. It gets very hard - just like mine. I am not leaving out the possibility that you don't have IC - but even though meds aren't working, mine didn't either at first. At times they still don't - the meds sometimes just slightly dull the symptoms. If you haven't already I would see about getting a cystoscopy. It is relatively painless (compared to what your used to :-) ) The doctor can take pictures of the inside of your bladder. If your bladder looks like it was rubbed with sandpaper - you more than likely have IC - Sorry.