The shock and spring are one unit that would be removed together. I think you are looking at the procedure for coil springs.
Just unbolt the shock top and bottom with the car jacked up far enough to drop the coilovers out the bottom. If you don't have the spanner wrench to undo the spring nut a local repair shop should have one. Not to worry, the spring will not go flying and it's best to lube the threads before undoing the nut. Once the spring is removed you will be able to check the shock for proper action.