I give you my permission to annoy the shit out of your doctors.
Now, my permission doesn't mean shit, but it's still there if you want it.
Ask questions. Ask every question you can think of. Ask stupid question. If a doctor says something that doesn't sit right with you, ask more questions. If those don't help, get another opinion. If you don't like the service you're receiving, try someone new. Doctors work differently than other human beings. Sometimes, it's less about saving lives and more about saving their own ass. Defensive medicine causes huge problems, but so do people who sue for no reason. I can see both sides.
We've started asking questions and getting second opinions for Doc. He's miserable. He wants more out of life. He is willing to take a risk having this surgery when it isn't a good idea. He doesn't want to have trouble walking for another minute, much less another yet.
I called a good friend who is a neurosurgical nurse practitioner PhD candidate. She has worked on many, many shunt procedures, and she knows the deal. She understands how the anticoagulants work, and she told me that there is another way. Then I got on the Internet and did some research. I found articles from the Cleveland Clinic and Duke medical school that gave me the information that I need. The articles gave me the numbers that doctors insisted didn't exist. They talked about mortality rate and time off of the medication. They helped me understand how much of a risk this is.
These are answers that no one else wanted to give me except to say, "It's a bad idea."
Yeah, well, so is being miserable. So fucking help us out here.
We're calculating risk now so we can choose what to do next. And then we go from there.
Because I'm fucking obnoxious and decided that their no wasn't good enough.
Ask questions. No one is going to advocate for you but you.
As always, it's hip to be square (and obnoxious!), kids.