So I did some testing and moving things around and got positive and negative results and was able to confirm that the silicon pad doesn't prevent the tongue from sliding down and doubling up there like we hoped, but the silicon pad falls inside the tongue and protects the nerve. As long as the pad stays in place, I can skate with little pain.
In fact, I've been able to stop tying my skates super tight once the pad is protecting the nerve, and let the skate move around a little more. This was guaranteed pain in the past, but it's fine as long as the pad stays in place. I'm skating better and more confidently now. It's been a huge relief to stop thinking about pain, and avoiding thereof, and just think about skating.
I still can't skate well without KT Tape to support me, although I did figure out that I can apply a long strip across the lower back nerves myself, and this provides enough support. So at least I'm self-sufficient now.
Finally, the Knights broke our losing streak Sunday by defeating the Piranhas, who beat us soundly back in November. Not only did we win, but it was my first game where I didn't go further negative on my +/-! Granted, a positive (being on the ice when a goal was scored) or scoring a goal myself would be even better, but it's my first game were I didn't go negative so I'm happy with it.
This is apparently a best season so far for the Knights, and we have secured a spot in the playoffs!